Town Focuses on Affordable Housing

Town of New Paltz officials are looking to draft their own version of the Affordable Housing Law similar to the Village of New Paltz’s Affordable Housing Law.

If town officials construct their own affordable housing law, it would be similar to the Village of New Paltz regulations. It would include allowing developers to construct additional rental units if at least 10 percent of the units will be for low to moderate income tenants. 

Village regulations also state that new developments with 10 or more housing units are required to make 10 percent of the units available as “affordable” to rent for people whose income is 60 percent of the median income in Ulster County. As of 2016, the median income for Ulster County was $75,900.

The maximum monthly rent also cannot exceed 1.75 percent, excluding utilities, or two percent, if utilities and common charges are included, of the multiple assigned to the number of bedrooms in the dwelling units times the average of the last three-year median income levels

Regulations also require affordable housing units to have minimum sizes of 450 square feet for an efficiency apartment, 700 square feet for a one-bedroom unit, 900 square feet for two bedrooms, 1,100 square feet for three bedrooms and 1,200 square feet and 1.5 bathrooms for four bedrooms according to The Daily Freeman.

The idea for this came about in the last year, but according to Neil Bettez, the idea got pushed aside by the town board due to other priorities on the agenda. 

“We discussed this issue in October and November of 2017, but we got distracted by other issues,” Bettez said. “In the most recent village and town joint meeting, the issue was brought up by somebody and I realized that we have to prioritize this again.”

Bettez has said that all of the town board are in favor of drafting an Affordable Housing Law for the Town of New Paltz. 

“Every town board member has stated that they are in favor of drafting a town Affordable Housing Law,” Bettez said. 

Even recently elected board member David Brownstein, who Bettez has had informal conversations with about this issue, stated that he is also in favor of this.

New Paltz Village Mayor Tim Rogers believes it is a good idea for both the town and the village to have similar affordable housing laws. 

“In a community like New Paltz, it makes sense for both the town and the village to have similar affordable housing laws,” Rogers said. “This community is unique since we have a diversity of neighbors. This includes college students, families, etc. So it’s important that there is affordable housing throughout New Paltz.” 

 Town of New Paltz Deputy Supervisor Dan Torres echoed Roger’s sentiments on this issue.

“While Neil (Bettez) is leading the way on this proposal for the town board, I believe it’s important that we work with the village on coming up with our version of an Affordable Housing Law since they’ve already established their Affordable Housing plan” Torres said.

Rogers talked about how the village recently received two applicants that qualify for assistance under the village’s Affordable Housing Law at the Ridge at New Paltz Apartment Complex.

“Since there was a 12-unit addition the Ridge apartments, two of those units qualify as Affordable Housing,” Rogers said. 

The next joint meeting set to take place between Town and Village of New Paltz board members will be on March 14 according to Rogers. While no proposal has yet to written up by the town board, Bettez is hoping to have language for a proposal by the end of the year. 

“My current goal is to go to the next joint meeting with progress made on the proposal along with being informed and prepared with questions on this,” Bettez said.