Letter: Affordable Housing in Beacon

Putting the words “developer” and “affordable housing” into the same sentence is an oxymoron (“Beacon Sells Land for New Affordable Housing,” Oct. 7).

When “artist lofts” first came to Beacon, it was a way for developers to acquire tax breaks, incentives and planning board approvals to exploit this quasi-loophole. Working artists couldn’t, and still can’t, afford the rents.

And now, under the guise of affordable housing, the City Council and mayor have surreptitiously pushed affordable rents totally off the board. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the median household income in Dutchess County is $72,471. The median household income in Beacon is $63,284. (It was long ago that this figure was in the $40,000 range.)

Tying rent prices into a Dutchess median house income will allow real estate developers to hold out for higher income earners to rent to and thus charge higher rents ranging from $2,500 to $5,000 in order to keep feeding their already heavy pocketbooks. Police, teachers, carpenters, the elderly, sales and almost all service employees are being locked out of the Beacon housing market because the City Council and mayor are letting it happen.

N. Canaan, Beacon

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