Beacon housing market hot; city has more affordable apartments than most

Earlier this month, Dutchess County released its annual rental housing survey, which has been published by the Planning Department since 1980. As in recent years, its numbers for Beacon are skewed because the managers of six developments, accounting for 333 apartments, did not respond. 

beacon housing survey

Though incomplete, the numbers show rents are significantly higher in Beacon, on average, than in the county as a whole. The survey also found 770 subsidized or below-market-rate apartments in Beacon, or nearly 18 percent of the county’s “affordable” stock. 

coming and goingHowever, the most recent data compiled by the City of Beacon, from March, counted 851 affordable units. Assuming the rest of the county data is accurate, that would mean more than 19 percent of the affordable housing in Dutchess is located in Beacon, although the city accounts for only 5 percent of the population. (The City and Town of Poughkeepsie together have about 60 percent of the county’s affordable stock.) 

Dutchess County this month also issued, for the first time, a report on homes for sale. According to its data, the median home price in Dutchess rose each year from 2016 to 2021, topping out at about $380,000 last year. From 2010 to 2020, the price of homes in Beacon rose from the second-lowest in the county to the third-highest.

Dutchess planners credited low interest rates with the decrease between 2011 and 2019 in the percentage of “cost-burdened” county homeowners who spent more than 30 percent of their income on housing, from 40 percent to 24 percent. For a household earning the median income in Dutchess — $100,500 a year — that would amount to $2,513 per month.

A county housing assessment released in April estimated that 52 percent of Dutchess renters were cost-burdened. 

Last month, Hudson Valley Pattern for Progress released a report that analyzes migration to and from nine counties in the Hudson Valley; it shows former New York City residents driving the housing market, particularly in Beacon.

Dutchess Establishes Housing Trust Fund

$12 million plan to utilize pandemic relief money 

The Dutchess County Legislature on Aug. 22 unanimously approved spending $9.3 million in American Rescue Plan funds and $3 million from savings to launch a housing trust fund.

The fund will feature components for housing creation and preservation; infrastructure and development support; and first-time homeownership. It was one of the recommendations made in the spring by planners who compiled a housing needs assessment for the county.

Developments eligible for funding include newly constructed affordable rental housing, rehabilitation projects and adaptation of non-residential structures. Developers also could receive funding to expand or extend water and sewer infrastructure for affordable and mixed-income developments. And a first-time ownership program will assist residents who can afford a mortgage but don’t have the savings to cover the down payment or closing costs. 

The initial application round, which will not include the first-time ownership program, is expected to begin in late September.

In 2019-20, Pattern reported, 105,716 people moved into the region and 105,087 left, for a net gain of 629 — the first increase in more than a decade. The Hudson Valley had a net gain of 33,394 residents from New York City, including 4,955 in Dutchess and 978 in Putnam.

Dutchess County’s overall net gain was 1,062. In 2021, Beacon’s housing market was the most active in the county, with more than 6 percent of its homes listed for sale. During five consecutive years, one of every 20 Beacon homes changed hands. 

Behind The Story

Type: News

News: Based on facts, either observed and verified directly by the reporter, or reported and verified from knowledgeable sources.

Simms has covered Beacon for The Current since 2015. He studied journalism at Appalachian State University and has reported for newspapers in North Carolina and Maryland. Location: Beacon. Languages: English. Area of expertise: Beacon politics

6 replies on “Beacon Housing: Crunching the Numbers”

  1. Does Beacon really have “more affordable apartments than most” if the average rent is more than $2,000? [via Facebook]

    1. If we make a walkable city for pedestrians and bikes, the new residents might not need cars. [via Facebook]

      1. That’s not realistic because 1) winter, 2) bringing children to their activities and 3) lugging groceries from Walmart, BJs, Sam’s Club, etc. Everyone up here needs a car — even people who live in the Bronx and don’t need cars have cars. [via Facebook]

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