We have gathered the more frequently asked questions and answered them as fully as possible. If you have a question that is not listed below, first read the other pages about affordable housing to see if the topic is covered there.
Q: Who is eligible to live in affordable housing?
A: The answer depends on the financing program or laws which established the housing. Westchester County has adopted federal guidelines for affordability of housing that is made available for rent or purchase at a price affordable to households with incomes that are at or below the current Westchester County Area Median Income (AMI) limits. These income limits are published by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and are adjusted for household size. The county’s guide on income guidelines currently in effect, provides additional information which may be of interest, including how these income limits translate into income eligible for housing costs, rent limits and utility schedules.
Q: How long must the housing stay affordable?
A: The county requires that new fair and affordable housing units provide for a 50-year affordability period that is recorded on the property deed and describes all of the requirements of the housing, including resale formulas for homeownership housing and ongoing rental restrictions.
Q: Can the town or village have its own affordability requirements?
A: It depends on the financing source of the units. If the affordable housing is financed using federal, state or county financing, the affordability will be subject to the requirements that are part of the financing program regulations or other control documents. If, however, the housing was created strictly through local ordinance, then local guidelines may apply. [this should link to the new page: “Affordable Housing Ordinance”
Q: Does the county monitor the fair and affordable units it has financed?
A: Yes. All fair and affordable units financed with any Westchester County source (including federal and state sources administered by Westchester County) are monitored by staff in the county Planning Department. Monitoring includes verifying residency, appropriate turnover of units, rent rolls, and inspections, as appropriate.
Q: If our municipality has locally created affordable units, can they be brought into the county’s program?
A: Potentially, though the transition may need to happen upon resale of any homeownership units. If your municipality uses an income limit higher than the county’s, then a homeownership unit may need a subsidy to keep the current owner from losing money, but would allow the next owner to purchase the unit at a lower price. This will allow someone with a lower income, in line with the county’s limits, to purchase the unit.
Q: What is a municipality’s responsibility under the Affirmative Fair Housing Marketing Plan?
A: The municipality will be asked by developers and the county to provide information about housing opportunities on any local networks and to employees, including requesting posting information on any Web sites or other means of communications, shared press releases, public service announcements, fliers and links to the county’s Homeseeker page. If your municipality offers senior services, you may also be asked to disseminate information to the program participants.
Q: If a municipality owns a parcel of land that could be suitable for fair and affordbale housing development what are their options?
A: Unless the municipality has a public housing authority with the capacity to undertake the development of the parcel, essentially the municipality would have two options. The municipality could undertake its own site plan or subdivision review, then identify a developer potentially through the release of a Request for Proposals, and have that developer purchase the property and build the units. Or the municipality could identify a developer potentially through the release of a Request for Proposals without any site plan or subdivision approvals in place.