Tuesday, June 06, 2006

"Affordable Housing Zones" Proposed

Schumer Talks Up "Generation Next" Housing

Speaking at a Long Island Housing Partnership forum, New York Senator Chuck Schumer proposed the creation of so-called "affordable housing zones," giving the opportunity for young Long Islanders to take up residence in or near the communities in which they grew up.

Saying that "No less than the future of Long Island's economy depends on it," Schumer touted a multi-billion dollar plan to establish "new housing zones in areas where the average price of a new home is more than six times the region's median income."

According to Newsday, which reported on the Schumer proposal, in addition to creating affordable housing zones on Long Island, the plan would:

- Allow businesses to pay up to $20,000 toward a new employee's down payment on a home. Half the amount would be returned to the business as a tax credit, with the rest deductible as a standard business expense;

- Give a $5,000 tax credit to single first-time homebuyers with incomes of up to $100,000 and to married couples with incomes of up to $150,000;

- Provide developers with HUD grants if they agree to build and maintain affordable housing for younger workers.

Schumer, long an advocate of affordable housing, recognizes the difficulty in passing measures through this Congress as would be necessary to establish and fund such ambitious initiatives as "Generation Next" housing. Indeed, for years the Senator has been urging action on the affordable housing front, calling the affordable housing crunch a "crisis" way back in 2000.

Still, the Senator insists that affordable housing is crucial to growing the economy of Long Island, which in recent years has been drained of it's young workforce.

We at The Community Alliance agree. Without affordable housing for "Generation Next," and with it, a workforce for the next generation, Long Island's future as a viable, sustainable community is bleak, indeed.

The best time to have addressed the affordable housing concerns was yesterday. The second best time is right now!
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Click HERE to read the 2003 NYS AFL-CIO report, The Crisis of Affordable Housing for Long Island's Working People.

Check out The Campaign for Next Generation Housing.

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