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Sustainable Planning


Current Community

SEQRA & the Public

Planning Tools

Affordable Housing


Water Quality

Water Conservation

Thinking Green

Rockland Program

Rockland Resources

Westchester Program

List of Terms

Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory







What does the term affordable housing mean?

Did you know that there is a significant need for affordable housing in the County?

Are you aware that affordable housing is not the same as subsidized housing?

Did you know that a family with an income of $50,000 may qualify for affordable housing?


Just What is Affordable Housing? 

The cost of housing in the lower Hudson Valley is among the highest in the country causing hardship for many different demographics including seniors, entry level professionals, young families and unskilled workers. The generally accepted definition of affordability is that a household pay no more than 30 percent of its yearly income on housing. Families who pay more than one third of their income for housing may have difficulty affording necessities such as food, clothing, transportation and medical care. The United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has estimated that over 12 million renter and homeowner households now pay more than half of their annual incomes for housing, and a family with one full-time worker earning the minimum wage cannot afford the local fair-market rent for a two-bedroom apartment anywhere in the United States. This lack of affordable housing is a significant hardship for many in the community.

Programs that Help to Provide Affordable Housing:
There are a number of state and federal programs that help to provide affordable housing for low-income households.  These programs range from :
• Providing bonds - or low interest loans for the development of low-income housing
• Providing vouchers - directly to families to help subsidize rental or mortgage costs
• Home loans and down-payments - programs to assist middle-income families
• New York’s 80/20 Program  - This program uses federal tax-exempt bonds to create affordable housing for low-income tenants. In a multi-family rental housing development a minimum of 20% (one fifth) of the units must remain affordable to low income households. 

Communities Need a Balance of 'housing stock':

Communities need to plan for providing a variety of housing option to enable a range of ages and stages of life, as well as trades and skills to be represented in the community. Many not-for-profits have been formed to assist in making affordable housing available. They obtain grants from the federal, state and local government to reduce the purchase prices of new homes, helping low and middle income families obtain mortgages.  

  • Does your community offer housing for multiple income levels?
  • Does the project you are considering include housing?
  • Does it address an existing need in your community?
  • Will it attract a new income level into your community? If so how will this group blend with the community?
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