Yorktown is in Serious Need of Offering Affordable Housing

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It’s a wonderful life – with affordable housing.

Like many of us, I had an enjoyable experience watching “It’s a Wonderful Life” on TV this holiday season for the umpteenth time. Also, like many of us, I am moved by the ending where George Bailey sees how worthwhile his life really has been.

But this year, I contemplated more deeply than ever the reason his life was so worthwhile: He built housing that working people in Bedford Falls could afford. He stood up to the greedy businessman Potter, who was losing money on expensive rents every time a new working-class family, who couldn’t get loans from a regular bank, got an affordable loan for one of the affordable houses built by Bailey’s building and loan.

We also see, through the miracle of the guardian angel Clarence, what that town would’ve been like without the affordable homes that George Bailey built. It became Pottersville, a sad town full of sad and stressed (and angry) people.

This made me think about my town – Yorktown. It made me think about all the proposals now before Yorktown that the Potter-like developers are making for Yorktown: hundreds and hundreds of units at market rate, with no requirement by the town for any affordable housing.

We here in Yorktown have to make decisions: Do we want some affordable housing or do we want only the most expensive housing money can buy? Do we want a community where our children can remain and raise a family? Do we want seniors to think about our town as a place they stay and can be independent and thrive? Do we want our local small businesses to have a local willing and available workforce? Do we want to live in Bedford Falls or Pottersville?

I know where I’d rather live!

Maura Gregory
Mohegan Lake

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