Highlights From The Affordable And Workforce Housing Conference in Dutchess County - Part 1

Real Estate Broker/Owner with JFIVE Home Realty LLC | 845-758-6842|162 Deer Run Rd Red Hook NY 12571 10491201242

                                                 Affordable and workforce conference

  Jonathan Drapkin CEO of Pattern For Progress at mike


On June 11th I attended the Pattern For Progress Housing conference at Marist College in Poughkeepsie NY.  The conference was well attended and both the private and public sector were well represented.

The first guest speaker was the Duchess County Executive William Steinhaus.  He too was encouraged by the attendance.  His speech focused on the need for land use policies to address affordable housing.  I think the point that stood out most was when he spoke about the fact that the Hudson Valley has spent billions of dollars educating our children - this is very evident from the many educational institutions to be found locally -  however, the big problem is that once these students graduate they leave the area. Why? This is because of the high cost of living that is mainly due to the lack of affordable housing in our area.  Yes, one of the Hudson Valley's great assets is the educated young work force we produce but we have exported this asset. Certainly this makes no business sense.  He then gave examples of efforts to address the affordable housing issue. It was mentioned that in the last 20 years about 1500 properties were rehabilitated.  Also, brown fields were cleaned up; an example of this was the site in Red Hook which was then used for the Seniors Complex Red Hook Commons.

Because Pattern for Progress serves 9 counties we had speakers from all over the Hudson Valley.  Both members from the private sector discussed the challenge of recruiting out of state talent to the area.  Marist would find good candidates to fill faculty positons  but once they look into the housing situation these would then pass on the opportunity. This has resulted in heavy recruitment of local canididates.  A very common practice is for one college to try and and recruit away the other institution's employees.  I see this pattern repeated over and over by Vassar, Marist and Bard.  Another fact that came through during this period of the meeting was that even seniors who had retired had to reenter the job market because of the high cost of housing.

One of the most timely speeches was given by Ed Murphy of Hudson River Housing  This organization has done much to assist the communities in Dutchess County. One area in which help is offered is affordable housing.  What is so interesting about their program is that before any of these potential buyers can purchase a property, they have to open a bank account and save regularly. This money is then matched to provide for closing costs.  The buyer is also expected to go through credit couseling, budget planning, mortgage counseling and is given information about the house inspection process and other important home buying topics.  This educational effort has paid off as so far none of the families who participated in this program has faced foreclosure. This is no doubt because the buyer started out with a good foundation.  The point was made that if more pre-purchase education was done maybe we would not be facing the present foreclosure situation- certainly food for thought.

So why is the Hudson Valley having such an affordable housing issue?  Migration fron NYC especially since 9/11/2001 resulted in an upward pressure on price, yet  at the same time incomes have not kept up.

For example the area median income(AMI) for the Poughkeepsie area is $78,900 for a family of 4

Elementary School Teacher -  $59,540

Registered Nurse                    $62,750

Paralegal                                $48,970

Firefighter                               $44,480

Police Office                            $52,310

Carpenter                               $44,750

Engineer                                 $71,190

Computer Analyst                   $72,470

At the same time in May the median home price was $325,000, not affordable for most.  Yes, every group is affected by a lack of affordable housing.  Some have the misconception that the affordable housing issue only refers to housing for the poor. This is not so.

I think the area is thankful to Jonathan Drapkin and his staff at Pattern For Progress for putting this conference together as well as the various organizations who sponsored the program. 

Jennifer Fivelsdal - JFIVE HOMES REALTY LLC - 845-758-6842- jennifer@jfivehomes.com

www.jfivehomes.com or www.midhudsonhomevalue.com

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Gary Woltal
Keller Williams Realty - Flower Mound, TX
Assoc. Broker Realtor SFR Dallas Ft. Worth

Jennifer, a great article on affordable housing needs in the Hudson Valley. It's hard when the incomes don't keep pace with the housing prices. Our area has tremendous affordable housing but the property taxes are high and we are always overbuilt. Luckily with our slow appreciation we didn't take the hits on the downslide like other areas. With your area's highly educated young people, it would be nice if they would stay.

Jul 02, 2008 09:43 AM #1
Peter Nikic
Broad & Bailey Realty LLC - Valhalla, NY

Jennifer, I wish I had known about this, thanks for the summary. I have a multifamily on 24 acres that I think would make a great LIHTC (low Income Housing Tax Credit) project. I purchased the property a little over 2 years ago. My plan was to clean up and stabilize the property within the first 2 years then look into developing it. currently it is 28 units, but there is a strong possiblity that it could be 50+.

I am ready for the next step, I will either look into developing it or sell it to a developer.


Jul 02, 2008 09:57 AM #2
Patricia Kennedy
RLAH Real Estate - Washington, DC
Home in the Capital

Jennifer, great post!  "Affordable Housing" is becoming such an oxymoron in many parts of the country, including my own market area.  You'd think the law of supply and demand would start to work when you have prices that people just can't afford! 

Jul 02, 2008 10:25 AM #3
Missy Caulk
Missy Caulk TEAM - Ann Arbor, MI
Savvy Realtor - Ann Arbor Real Estate

Jennifer, that sounds like a great conference, thanks for sharing with us. I always get good stuff when I set aside time to attend.

Jul 02, 2008 10:52 AM #4
Marchel Peterson
Results Realty - Spring, TX
Spring TX Real Estate E-Pro

Jennifer, I agree with Missy it sounds like a wonderful well needed conference.  I have helped those young kids find homes here because they could not afford to stay there so I know what you are talking about.  It is good they are doing something about it.

Jul 02, 2008 12:29 PM #5
Carol Culkin
Reece & Nichols - Leawood, KS
Overland Park

Jennifer - I totally agree. More people could have used credit counseling and pre-purchase education. Many have had to find out the hard way and will need to wait it out 7 years before they can buy again. I guess in 7 years we'll have another thriving housing market - is that how it works, people get in trouble, the market takes a dive and they start all over a few years later?? I'm all for educating people!

Jul 02, 2008 12:44 PM #6
Paddy (Patricia) Pizappi
Better Homes and Gardens Rand Realty - Pine Bush, NY
Real Estate Associate Broker Hudson Valley NY

Hi Jennifer, Thanks for the report on the conference.  I wish I could have gone.  We do need to do more to help produce the housing that people can afford.  Pricing people out of the market forces us to lose many good people to other areas.

Jul 02, 2008 10:35 PM #7
Jennifer Fivelsdal
JFIVE Home Realty LLC | 845-758-6842|162 Deer Run Rd Red Hook NY 12571 - Rhinebeck, NY
Mid Hudson Valley real estate connection

Gary - Thank you.  It is so important that a way is found to encourage young people to remain in the area.  Fixing the housing issue will be the biggest step.

Peter - Sorry you missed my post I did write about the event.  If your property is in a village or hamlet I am sure in the next few years you will be seeing more cluster friendly development and your property sounds like a good candidate.

Pat - I so agree.  I think now with the economic condition and high gas price you will probably see more of an effort to address this issue.

Missy - It was a great conference, I had the opportunity to get more of a idea of what was the major concern for the area and what the plans were to address the issues.  It was also good to see  a good cross section of attendee from the private and public sector.

Jul 03, 2008 01:58 AM #8
Jennifer Fivelsdal
JFIVE Home Realty LLC | 845-758-6842|162 Deer Run Rd Red Hook NY 12571 - Rhinebeck, NY
Mid Hudson Valley real estate connection

Marchel - You know exactly what I mean.  I is really hard to see young people move away although they would have liked to stay in their home town.

Carol- Credit counseling as well as the other seminars on budgeting, saving and how to take care of a house would have made a big difference and help many avoid foreclosure.

Paddy - Yes the brain drain need to stop.

Jul 03, 2008 02:22 AM #9
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