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Selkirk is latest local town voting on affordable housing

May 21, 2021 5:29 am

When Hudson Valley residents discuss local housing, there is almost universal need expressed for more affordable housing, such as at a Catskill housing forum WGXC broadcast last summer, and in the public comments at other town meetings. “We had an affordable housing crisis before the pandemic,” said Jonathan Drapkin, president and CEO of Pattern for Progress, a Newburgh-based research and public policy nonprofit that released The Hudson Valley Regional Housing Market Report last summer. Still, towns and cities such as Hudson, Catskill, and Kingston fail to bring new affordable housing to the area, and the pandemic exodus from New York City has sent local real estate prices skyrocketing. Now Michael Hallisey at Spotlight News reports that Selkirk, in southern Albany County, is the latest municipality to consider new affordable housing in their backyard. Selkirk officials will vote June 9 on a 72-unit affordable housing plan proposed off of Route 9W near the Jericho Drive-In. But judging from public comments at a town board meeting May 12, and what board members are saying, this is another proposal to help with the lack of local affordable housing that won't come to fruition. “I’m just going to come out and say it, I’m a no-vote on this,” Town Board member Maureen Cunningham said. Town Board member Dan Coffey said that “100 percent” of the letters he received before the meeting opposed the housing project. The town identified the need for affordable housing in a 2019 report where the Capital District Regional Planning Commission said the average county resident would find it difficult to purchase or rent property locally. Read more about this story at Spotlight News.

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