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On February 15th, Community Housing Innovations hosted a remarkable conference for the Westchester Workforce Housing Coalition.  Sponsored by a generous grant from People’s United Bank, it included representatives of the legal, human rights, and business communities to discuss “Workforce Housing Under Trump:  Where Do We Go From Here.”  

The results of intense discussions among the 65 participants working in three teams will be used to develop a new strategy for promoting affordable and workforce housing in Westchester County in the next 30 days.  Stay tuned. 

Here are highlights from the event: 

Presentation by Alexander Roberts

Presentation by Christopher Jones

About the Westchester Workforce Housing Coalition:

In November 2014 a coalition of housing and civil rights groups organized to charge that the town of Harrison perpetuates segregation and ignores the need for affordable housing by failing to include any such housing in the first transit oriented development project supported by the MTA in this town. The groups include local chapter of the New York State NAACP, Mount Vernon United Tenants, the Working Families Party, WESPAC and the Westchester Hispanic Coalition, among others.

In early March 2015, after tough negotiations with Westchester County and the MTA, Harrison agreed to accept seven units (5%)in the 143-unit project.  However, it has so far not accepted any affordable units for 421 additional apartments proposed for the town by other developers.  The Coalition believes a standard of five percent affordable is inadequate for a town two-thirds the size of Manhattan that has done no affordable housing in 25 years. It continues to seek a 10% development set aside in Harrison and other municipalities in Westchester County.

Members of the Westchester Workforce Housing Coalition:

– Alexander H. Roberts, Community Housing Innovations, Inc.

– Lena Anderson, White Plains/Greenburgh NAACP

– Dennis Hanratty, Mount Vernon United Tenants and Hunger Action Network

– David Schwartz, Working Families Party

– Veronica Vanterpool, Tri-State Transportation Campaign

– Greg Maher, The Leviticus Fund

– Nada Khader, WESPAC

– Mara Winokur, ULI Westchester/Fairfield

– Richard Hyman, Urban Planner

– Charles Pateman, Developer

– Timothy Lewis, Greenburgh Town Attorney

– Andrea Kocsis, Human Development Services of Westchester

– Achille Iolascon, M.A/MHC, Westchester Disabled on the Move, Inc.

– Geoffrey Anderson, Westchester Residential Opportunities

WHC 914 cartoon fixed

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Latest news regarding the Workforce Housing Coalition and its members:

Westchester complies with affordable housing settlement, county exec says (Dec 28, 2016)

Statement by Westchester Workforce Housing Coalition on Astorino’s Consent Decree Announcement (Dec. 27, 2016)

Westchester says it completed affordable housing deal (Dec 27, 2016)

Harrison Officials OK 421-Unit Platinum Mile Complex (Sept. 6, 2016)

Calls For Penalties In Westchester Housing Deal (July 7, 2016)

Tax Watch: Buchanan Notches Big Affordable Housing Win (June 16, 2016)

Activists Slam Housing Monitor As Democrats Remain Mum After Report (March 18, 2016)

Monitor Asks Westchester To Step In On Buchanan Affordable Housing (Dec. 18, 2015)

Past Stories:

In Buchanan, a hearing on Nov 4, 2015 brought nearly unanimous opposition from the community.

Watch here as Buchanan Village Trustee Duane Jackson responds to residents intimidation tactics.

Read the Buchanan HUD Monitor Letter here.

Workforce Housing Coalition before the Harrison Planning Board (June 23, 2015)

We invite you to read our statements on the lack of Affordable Housing at the Corporate Park Drive proposal:

Initial letter sent to the Harrison Planning Board by Alexander Roberts:

Harrison Letter on toll DEIS. 6-9-15.

Updated letter including analysis of barriers to affordability in Harrison: 

Letter to Planning Board.June 26, 2015

Statement-to-Planning-Board-on-Playhouse-Lofts

Lewisboro owes Westchester $500k (May 6, 2015)

Astorino Asked to Push for More Affordable Housing (April 15, 2015)

Should MTA Require Affordable Housing in Land Deals? (March 26, 2015)

Listen to “Affordable Housing Push Takes Express Train to MTA Boardroom” | Broadcast by WNYC.com

Housing advocates: 7 affordable units just won’t cut it (March 13, 2015)

A Big Step for Harrison and the MTA (March 13, 2015)

Westchester Sets Affordable Housing Precedent in Harrison Development| Mobilizing The Region (March 15, 2015)

Harrison MTA housing will have 7 affordable units (March 13, 2015)

Workforce Housing Coalition asks MTA to Include Affordable Housing (Feb. 25, 2015)

Tax Watch: Nita Lowey silent on fair housing in hometown (Feb, 2, 2015)

Astorino ducks Harrison affordable housing details (Jan. 16, 2015)

Housing monitor cracks down on Harrison plans (Jan. 9, 2015)

MTA Leaves Housing Decision to Harrison | Westchester Business Journal (Dec. 2, 2014)

Westchester Coalition Says MTA Program Gives Aid and Comfort to Exclusionary Town| CHI Website

Harrison housing to test Astorino’s power of persuasion | The Journal News (Nov. 29, 2014)

Housing Coalition Protests Harrison MTA Project | Westfair Communications (Nov. 25, 2014)

MTA: Developer must respect Harrison housing requirements| The Journal News (Nov. 24, 2014)

In Westchester County, Plan for Luxury Units Draws Ire | WFUV (Nov. 24, 2014)

No Affordable Housing in Harrison Apartment Plans| The Journal News (Nov. 20, 2014)

CHI’s Executive Director, Alexander Roberts, speaks before the MTA Board on behalf of the Workforce Housing Coalition, at its December Board Meeting.

Members of the Westchester Workforce Housing Coalition. (Left to Right) Phillip Leber, regional political director of the Working Families Party, Chuck Pateman, developer, Jim Killoran, executive director of Habitat for Humanity, Nada Khader, executive director of WESPAC, Alexander Roberts, executive director of Community Housing Innovations, Lena Anderson, president of White Plains NAACP, and Dennis Hanratty, executive director of Mt. Vernon United Tenants.