Lloyd fails to meet affordable housing code

By Mark Reynolds
Posted 8/21/19

Previously, the Southern Ulster Times reported that for years the Town of Lloyd has not required developers to provide Affordable Housing units within their residential projects as is stipulated in …

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Lloyd fails to meet affordable housing code

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Previously, the Southern Ulster Times reported that for years the Town of Lloyd has not required developers to provide Affordable Housing units within their residential projects as is stipulated in the Town Code.

Section 100-36 D of the code states that, “Ten percent of the total number of residential units or lots in any covered development shall be affordable to moderate-income households and shall be located on the site of the covered development.” The financial calculations of affordability the town must meet are determined by Ulster County. The failure of developers to meet the code in Lloyd was because the Town Board, the Planning Board, the Building Department Director and the town’s Land Use attorney collectively did not compel them to provide this type of housing when they received approvals for their projects.

About five months ago the Town Board established a committee charged with reviewing and revising the current law and put Building Department Director Dave Barton in charge of it. Earlier this month at the Town Board meeting, Barton admitted that no committee has been created to deal with this issue.

“There is no committee at the moment [and] I’ve been rewriting the law and now I’m down a guy (department employee) but I don’t know when that will be done.” He said a new version of the Affordable Housing Law is, “half written but I don’t have anything to submit to anybody.”

Barton said he has commitments to provide affordable housing units from developer Brad Scott, who is in the process of building a housing project behind the new Dollar General, Nick Dellaportas and Greg Sims, developers of the proposed Views by Route 9W and Chapel Hill Road and from Mark Sanderson, developer of a proposed senior living center, called the Village in the Hudson Valley, across from the Bridgeview Shopping Plaza.

“They’re all committed but nobody’s in progress yet,” Barton said.

Months ago two attorneys informed the Town Board that they may retroactively require developers, whose projects have been approved and built, to provide affordable housing units, such as Trail View and Highbridge. To date, however, the board has taken no action to correct this matter, leaving improperly approved projects standing in direct violation of the Town Code.

The Town Board said they wanted any revision of the Affordable Housing provision to be done collectively by the committee but Barton said, “if you can find four volunteers tell them to come and see me,” adding that “I wear a whole lot of hats and this is one of them.”

Barton mentioned that the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development [HUD] is supporting a new type of housing that may work in Lloyd.

“It actually is a double-wide trailer but the finishes are much higher than a typical double-wide. It requires a whole bunch of things including a porch, which you typically wouldn’t get in a double-wide, a garage, sidewalks to the main door. It all comes as a trailer that sits on a frame,” he said. “At some point I’ll bring it to the town to look at and it may behoove us to look at other locations like in the Residential 1/4 acre zone where that might work for people with lower price points. The mortgage with utilities works out to be about $1,140, which is way below our number [in Lloyd] for affordability. Taxes would have to be built into that [but] is easily reachable in the R ¼ zone with a house evaluation in the $220,000 range.”

When asked if affordable housing units are to be woven into proposed housing projects, as per the code, Barton responded yes but added the caveat, “or anywhere.”

Barton said, “I’ve got 8 or 9 areas large enough in the hamlet in an R 1/4 zone that could still be subdivided out and are perfect locations; they’ve got water, sewer, gas and small lots so you’re not looking at the extra tax hit. A future developer could come in and propose these units, which are trailers that we allow in only three locations in our trailer parks; maybe there’s some room for negotiation with particular developments, where we could have affordability throughout the whole development.” He concluded by calling these double-wide units an, “interesting product and you can get 30 year mortgages on a trailer, which is sort of unheard of.”

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