HASTINGS-ON-HUDSON, N.Y. – The Village of Hastings-on-Hudson is on track to comply with a U.S. housing-discrimination settlement that requires Westchester County to build 750 units of affordable housing.
“Hastings has been ahead of the curve with a lot of the issues and the laws hat go with it,” said Sue Smith, chairperson of the Hastings Affordable Housing Committee. “Hastings is named in the suit, which is surprising, because we have done a lot in the area of affordable housing.”
Smith said out of the 750 units of affordable housing required to be built in the county per the settlement, Hastings’ share is 100 units.
“That’s a mountain to climb where there’s no property available,” Smith said.
Smith said that although Hastings was dedicated to providing affordable housing before the settlement, the village will continue to do its share to help Westchester County comply. Hastings built several affordable housing units in 2003 and 2008 on Warburton Avenue, but those units do not count toward the settlement units, Smith said.
Among the projects in development is a building renovation with two- and three-bedroom units that could begin by the end of the year, Smith said. The project has not been presented to the public yet and the surrounding neighborhood still has to be consulted. Smith said another project is in the works with zoning regulation decisions pending, which could be presented to the Village Board this fall. Smith said Hastings residents have generally been supportive of the affordable housing process, but there has been backlash from people who do not fully understand what types of units will be built.
“They have an idea that it’s ghettos like in the city moving up to their neighborhood, but it’s local people – firemen and hospital workers,” Smith said
Although meeting the 100-unit share outlined in the settlement will be difficult, Smith said Hastings is focused on providing adequate affordable housing as part of a regional effort rather than meeting a specific quota.
“We want to be part of something bigger,” Smith said. “We can do something together. We tend to look at housing needs as just our community, but if all of the communities met the requests, it would be easier to get housing in surrounding areas.”