NEW CASTLE, N.Y. County Legislator Mike Kaplowitz (D Somers) attended the New Castle Town Board meeting Tuesday evening to share a variety of countywide items that affect the local area, including an update on the affordable housing settlement.
"I am happy to report that the county is well ahead of its schedule," he said in reference to the 2009 settlement between the county and U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.
According to Kaplowitz, the county's goal to build 750 units is underway, with about 150 to 200 units already approved and moving forward with the process.
"A lot of the communities we've dealt with have been very carrot-like instead of stick-like and what I mean by that is they have been very welcoming," he said. "Maybe because this is affordable housing and not low-income housing. People that will live in this housing can earn up to $82,000 a year and still be eligible."
Kaplowitz said that since the income requirement is what he considers relatively high, he thinks it will give people a reason to buy into the community.
"Most of the people that will be moving into these units are people that live and work in the surrounding area," he said. "It is also a very good thing because everyone is so desperately in need of work, so it will give people jobs, and people to live in the area they work in, and contribute to vendors and merchants."
The effects of Tropical Storm Irene and extensive power outages in the area were also a topic discussed by the county legislator, who said he felt the county suffered from a lack of preparation.
"We continue to look at Con Ed and the gas companies in order to work with them on better storm response," Kaplowitz said. "It wasn't like the bad weather came out of nowhere, we all knew about this hurricane that we were going to possibly be getting, so we are going to continue to stay on them."
Kaplowitz also said he was disappointed by the fact that the electric company refused to give reimbursements for any food that may have been lost due to lack of power.
"Power outages are a major issue," he said. "We have to make sure that they're prepared as much as they can be."
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