Boards & Committees

Affordable Housing Board

Helping build a stronger community.

 

How do we ensure ample resources are consistently available to affordable housing in the Town of Somers?
Our Mission

The mission of the Somers Affordable Housing Board is to pursue opportunities for quality affordable housing in the Town of Somers for individuals and families seeking to live here. We seek balance of housing opportunities, including for low- and moderate-income, and special needs residents.

 

Core Objective

Provide quality, affordable housing that is well maintained and free from drugs, crime, and discrimination while serving residents of Somers with the highest degree of professional courtesy, empathy, and respect.

 

Role of Affordable Housing Board

The Affordable Housing Board educates, advocates, engages, and provides resources to community residents to ensure were main a vibrant community that presents an opportunity for everyone to achieve their full potential.

 

We are engaged in facilitation of quality, affordable rental housing for qualified work force and seniors’ households in the Town of Somers. The board works with the Town Planning Department and Planning Board to implement our mission and act at all times in the best interest of the Town ensuring that future developments in the community will meet the needs of the present without compromising the ability to the meet the needs of future generations.

 

Responsibilities of Affordable Housing Board

A.    The Board consists of five members and has the following responsibilities:

B.    Provide oversight in the development & implementation of proposals for the Somers Affordable Housing Code.

C.    Confer with lending institutions to identify ways to reduce a buyer’s financing costs for affordable housing.

D.    Advise and consult with public officials/boards as affordable housing advocates.

E.    Disseminate information on affordable housing within Somers.

F.    Periodically report to the Town Board on progress related to affordable housing.

G.    Participate and review applications for units approved as Town of Somers affordable units.

H.    Monitor turnover and long-term affordability for units approved as Town affordable units.

 

Board Member Appointments

All board members are appointed by the Town Board for 2-year terms. The board meets monthly in the conference room at the Town House in Somers.

 

Historic Overview

The need for affordable housing for families and individuals with low to moderate income was first addressed in the Town Development Plan adopted by the Town of Somers in 1973.  The Plan called for implementation of a zoning technique called “designed residential development (DRD)” which allowed the building of higher density developments.

 

In 1994, a Comprehensive Master Plan included revisions to promote affordable housing with recommendations on multi-family housing, accessory apartments, cluster development, DRD's, congregant housing for seniors, and the subdivision process.

 

More recently an updated Comprehensive Master Plan was adopted in 2016. The Plan addressed progress in meeting affordable housing needs and included new recommendations to further expand its availability.

 

 

What is affordable housing?

Housing policy is one of the main issues that local governments deal with. It encompasses several overlapping concerns. Making sure that everyone has a decent place to live and retaining the families/individuals of communities and with community ties - without unduly displacing them.

 

How does the government define affordable housing?

The Federal Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) defines an "affordable dwelling" as one in which the occupants pay no more than 30% of their household income for housing costs, including utilities. HUD publishes a table, updated annually, comprising area median incomes (AMI) by household size for Westchester county. This table is used by the affordable housing programs within Somers to determine program eligibility and maximum housing cost.

 

For example: a household is considered "low-income" if it makes less than 80 percent of the median income in the local area (this is called Area Median Income, or AMI). So, by this definition, a dwelling is considered "affordable" for low-income families if it costs less than24 percent of the area median income.

 

Affordable housing units within Somers are either administered by the Westchester County government or the Somers Town Board. Westchester County has contracted with the Housing Action Council (HAC)to manage its units, the Affordable Housing Board acts on behalf of the Town Board for Somers responsible units. To see the current Area Media Income (AMI)Sales and Rent Limits, go to homes.westchestergov.com and click on “Income Guidelines”.

Quality Affordable Housing: A Definition

Quality Affordable Housing is housing that is free of significant structural defects, meets the basic living needs of residents, and is reasonably safe and secure. To be “affordable,” the cost to live in quality housing should be within the financial reach of residents (30 percent of income) at various income levels.

 

Town Vision 2020: Planning for tomorrow today.

The Town of Somers continues to be a vibrant and enlightened community that is action oriented. Much of the success in addressing the affordable housing needs of our town have been accomplished through positive actions taken upon the building of new housing developments, incorporating community-based housing principles.

The beauty of Westchester County, more specifically the Town of Somers, continues to attract people throughout the country as a place to visit and live; and the quality of life in our community provides residents and visitors with a mixture of culture, education, job opportunities, housing, and friendliness. These traits will continue to attract visitors and residents to the area.

 

Our Strategic Action Plan

(1) Establish an open line of communication with families or individuals seeking affordable housing.

(2) Update the application process though ease of access to online form downloads and submissions.
(3) Encourage existing residential developments that have affordable housing units to make upgrades to meet the needs of aging and disabled and to ensure that affordable housing is being appropriately used.

(4) Continuously review our goals and work with community residents, tenants of affordable housing units and property management of encompassing developments to assess where we have been and where we are going.

(5) Work with the town board, planning board, developers, Housing Action Council, Westchester County and other interested groups on the development, promotion, and placement of low- and moderate-income individuals and families in Somers.

 

Key Elements: Action Plan Summary

The affordable housing “Strategic Action Plan” is a five-year strategic plan for providing affordable housing in the Town of Somers. The plan will serve as a guide to be utilized by housing developers, service providers, community leaders, and elected officials, ensuring the quality and resources placed towards affordable housing continues to evolve and make meaningful progress during the five-year planning period.


Affordable Housing:

The affordable housing “Strategic Action Plan” is a five-year strategic plan for providing affordable housing in the Town of Somers.

New Developments & Land Use:

This strategic plan will be for the benefit of town residents and will work alongside elected officials to direct the Town of Somers in Growth Management and Land Use Planning.

Public Education:

Create and implement a public awareness plan for affordable housing to educate members of the community.

Interactive Tools & Resources:

Provide digitally accessible tools and resources that support easy access to affordable housing information.

 

Board Goals: Evolving

(1)  The Affordable Housing Board will educate, advocate, and build community awareness in support of affordable housing in the Town of Somers.

(2)  The Affordable Housing Board of Somers will be the definitive source of high-quality data and affordable housing related information relating to the submission process and eligibility requirements.

(3)  The Affordable Housing Board will regularly inform elected officials of the town on suggestions, community feedback, state of each development, improvements, and active initiatives.

(4)  Maintain and regularly update the “Community Annual Affordable Report” for all affordable housing units, ensuring that the units and tenants are compliant with town requirements.

(5)  Work with the Town Board and Planning Board on the development, and placement of low- and moderate-income individuals and families in Somers.

 

To accomplish these evolving goals, the board will work with management of affordable housing units, community residents and elected officials to determine a comprehensive and deliberate strategy that meets the affordable housing needs in the Town of Somers. The board will look at national best practices, analyze data and recommend priorities for programs to the Town Board, in addition to recommending priority areas for the use of housing to Town Officials.

 

Affordable Housing Rental Developments

 

New Tenant Application Process

Contact the management to discuss eligibility and to obtain a rental application.

 

Housing Action Council (HAC)

phone: (914) 332-4144

e-mail: hac@affordablehomes.org

website: www.housingactioncouncil.org

 

Avalon

phone: (914) 313-8506

website: avalonsomers.com

 

Wright Court

phone: (914) 450-2850

website: realtymanagementservicesny.com

 

Members

Resources

Meeting Minutes & Agendas

May 21, 2013
Zoning Board of Appeals Agendas
January 25, 2012
Planning Meeting Minutes
June 24, 2010
Architectural Review Board Minutes
April 22, 2010
Architectural Review Board Minutes
March 25, 2010
Architectural Review Board Minutes
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