New Scotland’s town board is proactive

To the Editor:

In a recent letter to the Enterprise editor, Republican candidate for New Scotland Town Board Glenn Schultz blamed the town board for his daughter’s inability to afford housing in New Scotland [The Altamont Enterprise, July 18, 2019: “I’m running for New Scotland Town Board to ensure there are services and housing for all”].

But the question of availability of affordable housing is not so simple.

“Housing choice is a response to an extremely complex set of economic, social and psychological impulses. For example, some households may choose to spend more on housing because they feel they can afford to, while others may not have a choice,” according to an entry in Wikipedia, citing work by J. David Hulchanski and Jacqueline Luffman.

We know nothing about the factors motivating Mr. Schultz’s daughter’s housing search. In addition, Mr. Schultz offered no solutions or suggested laws that would resolve his complaint.

In contrast, last year incumbent town board Democratic candidate William Hennessy spearheaded the updating of the town’s comprehensive plan. That update includes concrete measures by which the town can promote affordable housing.

They include, among others, allowing a mix of housing types and lot sizes within new development, allowing lot sharing/ECHO [Elder Cottage Housing Opportunity]-housing; streamlining the approval process for new developments that promote housing diversity; encouraging redevelopment of abandoned properties through grant funding, facilitating first-time homebuyer programs with funding through the State of New York, establishing a Housing Trust Fund with fees applied to non-residential development to fund the trust and providing for low-income tax credits through an Industrial Development Agency.

We are fortunate to have an enterprising town board that takes housing needs seriously and is proactive in pursuing ways in which they can be addressed.

Let’s keep up their momentum. Re-elect Supervisor Doug LaGrange and town board member William Hennessy, and vote for town board candidate Bridgit Burke.

Christine M. Galvin

New Scotland

Editor’s note: Christine M. Galvin chaired the Town of New Scotland Comprehensive Plan Update Committee and is a member of the New Scotland Planning Board.

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