TOWN OF GOSHEN — The Town of Goshen is reviewing a local law that requires developers building a subdivision in the town to make 10 percent of those housing units affordable.
A public hearing was held Thursday night to consider removing the requirement and potentially replacing it with an alternative. About 10 people spoke. They had questions about the law, its application and why the town was looking to rescind it.
The law has been on the books since 2004 and applies to projects with more than 10 units. But in all these years, the town hadn’t utilized it because no developer wishing to build under the law’s specific guidelines had gone far enough in the approval process to trigger the affordable-housing requirement.
Then, in 2015, The Estates at Rolling Ridge approached the town to build a 22-lot residential subdivision on Maple Avenue. The project was eventually approved, and the developer agreed to build one single-family home and a three-family house to meet the affordable-housing requirement.
But when the town used the specific formula under the affordable-housing law to arrive at a selling price for the units, it produced prices that ranged from $425,000 to $450,000, according to Kelly Naughton, attorney for the Town of Goshen Planning Board.
“We sat down to apply this formula. It did not work well,” said Bloomfield. “What appeared to be affordable was not affordable.”
Several other municipalities have similar laws on the books and have not utilized them, Naughton said. These include Walden, Town of Newburgh and Wawayanda.
The town decided to review the law because it did not function as intended. Another public hearing will be held Oct. 11, after which the town will decide whether to keep the law or rescind it.
According to Naughton, the town already has 3,595 existing or potential affordable housing units that meet the legal definition of the category. These include accessory apartments and multiple-family homes.
The town will, however, explore creating a local law that requires developers to include affordable housing units when they build a subdivision, Bloomfield said.