Tag: affordable housing
Long Island has a pressing need for affordable housing, and the key question is: How can we address it quickly on a regional basis? There must be more varied housing options for all Long Islanders, but the challenge is to provide those choices Island-wide when zoning decisions are made locally. Hopefully, we can build a strong consensus around some key principles, which can then be adopted in enough localities for it to have a region-wide impact.
Good land use policy is all about achieving balance. The White House is correct to assert itself because the suburbs, ours in particular, aren’t working as effectively as they should to address these economic problems. Young families in our area shouldn’t have to look elsewhere for decent housing and jobs. But we must be smart about how we go about tinkering with the suburban model. Calling for a wholesale increase in density, as the White House proposes, wouldn’t be right, either. Growth and environmental sustainability must be taken into consideration because what we don’t need is a new kind of sprawl.
The problem is that Long Island is cutting itself out of the job market, because our housing is so expensive. Neighboring suburbs in Westchester, southern Connecticut and northern New Jersey are attracting the businesses and jobs that should be coming here and should be providing employment for our children and growing our tax base.
Our young people continue to leave the region in droves, seeking cheaper places to live elsewhere. They are increasingly joined by their parents’ generation. The diaspora has begun to affect local businesses, which can’t find the workers they need to expand. That’s the makings of a very bad cycle.
More than ever, Long Island residents are struggling to pay for housing. Since 1980, the Island has lagged behind regional competitors like Northern New Jersey and the Hudson Valley in residential construction. With comparatively little new housing stock and variety, home prices and rents in Long Island have soared.
The Index’s recommendations depend on supply driven housing economics. But their consultants' analysis may not reflect the reality of Long Island’s suburban landscape, or what truly drives up housing costs here. Overall, the latest Long Island Index report repeats the same mantra that has been echoed from various conference rooms, board rooms, panels, and podiums at business breakfasts at the Crest Hollow Country Club and beyond: Build! Build! Build!
In the past two decades, construction has inched along, yet companies are still fleeing our region.
Other factors are the culprit for making the cost of living on the Island so high.