If Edgemont incorporates, will the new village be required to provide affordable housing?
There are no Federal or New York State laws specifically requiring municipalities to provide affordable housing. The Town of Greenburgh—which includes Edgemont—already requires new multifamily housing developments to include no less than 10% of affordable units. Ardsley, Scarsdale, Rye Brook, and most Westchester municipalities have affordable housing laws on their books with basic provisions that are similar to Greenburgh’s.
While New York laws do not specifically require local governments to provide affordable housing, those laws do stipulate that municipal land use policies and actions of local governments must take into account the health, safety and welfare of their communities. For example, a village or town that did not zone for multifamily housing where there is a demonstrated need, or maintain a properly balanced and well-ordered housing plan for the community, may be acting in an illegally exclusionary manner.
Click here to see Scarsdale’s fair and affordable housing law.
Will Edgemont Village be a “target” for affordable housing?
No, provided that Edgemont adopts balanced, non-exclusionary zoning ordinances that consider regional needs—similar to what currently applies to Edgemont as a neighborhood of Greenburgh, and what our peer villages have in place for their communities. The Westchester County model ordinance, adopted by several Westchester municipalities, is accessible here.
Will the Westchester County/HUD settlement apply to Edgemont?
No. The consent decree of 2009 was ended in July of this year with an “acceptable” finding by HUD.
So does anything really change with respect to affordable housing if Edgemont incorporates?
Legally, no. There is no law that requires Edgemont to build anything any beyond which Greenburgh is currently required to build.
However, the EIC believes that the new village government must go beyond simply adopting legally acceptable zoning ordinances and housing policies. We hope that our new village government recognizes the known regional housing shortage (with many people on waiting lists) and the fact that high land prices and minimal available land in Edgemont are impediments. We will encourage the new village board of trustees to work with appropriate state agencies and nonprofits, and make sure we welcome responsible, legal development efforts whenever the opportunity arises to ensure the community is accessible to people with a wide range of incomes.
EIC’s take: we have every reason to believe that the Village of Edgemont will act in a lawful and inclusionary manner with respect to zoning and housing.