Letter to the Editor: Lack of Affordable Housing in Peekskill

Dear Editor,

It’s difficult to find a reasonably-priced apartment in Peekskill if you make $40,000 or $50,000. That isn’t right. A healthy mix of housing is critical for Peekskill to thrive and remain equitable.

We’re at risk of only having housing on each end of the price spectrum. Peekskill has built low-income housing over the years, and now developers are building “market rate” apartments primarily aimed at those making over $100,000. That leaves few options for people who don’t qualify for low-income units but can’t afford to pay $30,000 a year in “market” rents.

Right now, the Mayor and Council have a chance to address that—but are coming up short. A developer wants to build 78 units on Central Ave featuring high rents and luxury amenities but needs to buy public land to move forward. Because of this leverage, the Council has a rare chance to create dozens of reduced-rent units for those earning roughly $45,000 to $75,000, the exact housing that’s in short supply.

The developer has offered a plan with a healthy mix of prices, including apartments for the working and middle class. This would mean that more teachers, healthcare workers, hospitality staff and many others who give so much to Peekskill could actually afford to live here.

Unfortunately, the Council insists on backing an option that includes just eight units with reduced, reasonable rents. The remaining units would be “market” rate, including $2,700 one-bedrooms and $3,200 two-bedrooms, way out of reach for most families. There is nothing stopping the Council from supporting the middle class, other than a desire to attract more people making six figures.

Instead of looking at this as a chance to add market rate units, the Council needs to see this as a rare chance to create reasonably-priced housing. The city doesn’t usually have leverage and it would be a shame to miss this opportunity. I urge the Mayor and Council to choose the mixed-income option and ensure more housing for the middle class before selling public land to a private developer.

Sincerely,

Conor Greene
Peekskill, NY

8 Comments

  1. Mr Greene is right, and this is the only time you will have the leverage to do it. Stand your ground, hold their feet to the fire, or cut them lose. There will always be more developers to come along. PEEKSKILL is a fine city.

  2. Thank you for writing this and I agree totally. I’m currently in public housing but when my daughter leaves for college I would really like to remain in the area but I cannot afford the rents in peekskill. I have a good job in Mt. Kisco and really don’t want to move further up the line to find something affordable. Hopefully you caught the ear of one of the council members and they’ll take your grevence to heart.

    1. They should stop landlords from renting rooms in single family homes.my coworker said the landlord was trying to put his family out so he could rent rooms so he could make more money.

  3. that is affordable housing in Peekskill already. Sanctuary city five families in a one family house the city allows this.

  4. I support the efforts the person wrote the people we put in off are expected to make sure all citizens of peekskill have decent, affordable housing they need to be held accountable

  5. So the people of Westchester sue the federal govt in court to stop Obama’s plan to build public housing for poor minorities and pay their fair share but now they wanna advocate for affordable housing for middle class white people??..sound like a bunch of crypto-racists to me…how about opening your arms to some black folks??

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