Affordable and Quality Housing
All across the United States we are seeing a rising housing shortage. In Orange, Dutchess and Ulster County that problem is growing at a rapid rate. Communities are grappling with rising housing costs, rising healthcare costs, increase student debt or a combination of all of these. Taxes are crippling communities and making it hard to open and operate businesses. Our workers, seniors, disabled, mentally ill, under employed and youth (among others) are struggling to find housing. Now more than ever we are seeing a rise in homelessness. Yet, till now funds have focused on temporary housing versus long-term solutions.
As Orange County Legislator representing the City of Newburgh, I have advocated to diversify housing across Orange County, so that housing responsibilities are not seen as just a City issue. I do not believe that spending millions of dollars on hotels and motels is cost effective. Our County and State governments need to invest sustainable methods to address our housing crisis.
In addition, I believe that we must also invest more in fixing up houses and buildings that have fallen on tough times and repurpose them for our communities. If houses are vacant and abandoned we need to make it easier for people to own a home and renovate properties. There are people that have been living in our communities for generations and yet have struggled to own a home for their family. We are seeing this happen with organizations like Habitat for Humanity and RUPCO, however they need more support and funding.
Every day I hear of a family that is living in sub human conditions, every week I come to a house that seems unsafe to live in. We need to do more to address these horrible living conditions that many people do not even know exist.
Affordable and Safe Housing is a Human Right.