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TOWN BD TO VOTE TONIGHT TO TURN FORECLOSED PROPERTY INTO AFFORDABLE HOUSING
Release Date: November 14, 2007
The Greenburgh Town Board will be voting tonight to turn over property that was foreclosed to SHORE for the purpose of the construction on the land in Ardsley of a housing project consisting of two units of rental housing for homeless families. A pilot agreement will be approved. SHORE will make annual payments in lieu of taxes to the town of $5,000 which will increase annually by 2%.
The town has been working with Ardsley & SHORE on this proposal for a few years. The property is owned by the town because of a foreclosure. However, the property is located within the village of Ardsley. We have been working cooperatively with Ardsley on this initiative. As Mayor Jay Leon states in his e mail to the Town Board below this is “the right thing to do. It will be a small step toward achieving a worthwhile goal of increasing the number of affordable housing units in the county.”
I support the initiative and thank SHORE for their persistence.
To the Greenburgh Town Board:
It is my understanding that the SHORE PILOT proposal is on the agenda of the Greenburgh Town Board for this evening, Wednesday November 14th. Unfortunately I cannot attend the meeting. Please permit me to express my personal support for the PILOT in writing.
The Village of Ardsley's sole relationship with SHORE has been to approve its building permits and variances. The Board has not expressed any position on the foreclosure or the PILOT. Our financial interest in the project is very limited - all the village hopes to gain is $14,000 in back taxes (which does not include penalties and fines, which we would have received had the property been bought by a non-tax exempt purchaser) and 28% of the PILOT payments.
My support for the SHORE project and the PILOT is therefore based on my belief that it is the right thing to do. The building will contribute two affordable units to Ardsley's allotment, as assigned by the County. It will be a small step toward achieving the worthwhile goal of increasing the number of affordable housing units in the county. Since the tenants of the property will be paying rent each month, I see this as an opportunity to assist lower income workers in making a better life for their children.
SHORE has shown Ardsley its budget and they have assured us that the only way they can make the project financially viable is to limit their property taxes. To date, they have demonstrated that they are a reputable organization that operates with integrity to support their laudable goals. They have adhered to all of our zone code requirements without complaint or request for special treatment.
The $5,000 SHORE has offered to pay as part of the PILOT is actually more than what the previous owner would have been paying had they not been delinquent on their property taxes. Furthermore, it is debatable whether SHORE is obligated to pay any taxes at all, in light of their tax exempt status. It is therefore to their credit that they are offering to make payments rather than to pursue a fully tax-exempt strategy.
Based on the merits of the project, I therefore highly support the proposed PILOT program and I encourage the Town Board to approve it this evening.
Mayor of Ardsley