If one peruses local social media or pays for local news, it’s hard to miss the severity of the housing crisis in this county. The demand for places to live in New Paltz far outstrips the supply, resulting in the cost to rent or buy a home being increasingly hard to afford. Two village municipals boards that address different parts of this problem are in need of members: the Landlord-Tenant Relations Council and the Affordable Housing Board. The former is designed to help residents understand current laws and find ways to communicate with one another in lieu of expensive legal action, and the latter is tasked with identifying people who are eligible to rent units that are classified as “affordable” under village law.
The inventory of affordable housing units is on the rise, but the list of people trying to get into one is nearly 20 times larger than the available units right now. Village law requires that larger developments include a certain percentage of units to be rented to members of that list at a rate determined by a formula based on income and other factors, and with the opening of Zero Place — with five affordable apartments — the work of this board is more fully being focused on getting people into homes. While the profile of this board is on the rise, membership has dwindled to three members in its five seats. That’s the minimum required to do business at all, imperiling this work.
Any village resident interested in a volunteer position should send a brief letter of interest via email to firstname.lastname@example.org.