Tarrytown Affordable Housing Project Remains Vacant

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by Alexander Roberts – 

Twelve units of affordable housing remain vacant after nearly a year, as Tarrytown officials maintain the builder has failed to provide the village with a document that would insure it will comply with the village’s affordable housing ordinance.  The building, developed by National Resources of Greenwich Connecticut, replaced the old Tarrytown Village Hall on Wildey Street.

“We have reminded National Resources a couple of times now,” said Tarrytown Village Administrator Richard Slingerland, “to draft and submit to the village an acceptable deed restriction document that can be filed with the county land records division, and we’ve been waiting for that since the summer.”

National Resources promised to build 12 units of affordable housing in 2006, in return for approval by the Tarrytown Planning Board of additional market rate units at its Hudson Harbor project. While the company and village accuse each other of causing delays, a new affordable housing Westchester County ordinance adopted in 2011 adversely affected the property’s value. Tarrytown complied with the county’s model affordable housing ordinance, significantly lowering income thresholds for qualifying tenants, along with the rents that may be charged.

While some other municipalities in Westchester opted not to adopt the county’s “model ordinance” for low-income housing, Tarrytown officials felt they had no choice because of potential loss of county funding and exposure to fair housing litigation over local preferences.

National Resources threatened to sue the village, arguing that the developer should be held to the standards to which it committed to build the housing in 2006.  However, after negotiations, Slingerland said the company agreed to accept the current ordinance, which reduces the maximum income of eligible households to 60% of the Area Median Income adjusted by family size (currently $56,200 for a two-person household), and removes the earlier law’s preferences for Tarrytown employees and other village residents.

The village has received no explanation for the company’s delay in providing the requested documentation. However, Slingerland said the building will remain vacant until the company provides a satisfactory deed restriction that complies with its ordinance.

A call to National Resources requesting comment was not returned.

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