Insights into affordable housing market

From left, Gary Sastow of Scarsdale, Lynn Bagliebter of Scarsdale, Ron Moelis of Larchmont, Cindy Golub of Mamaroneck and Alan Weissman of Rye at the fall breakfast.

Ron Moelis, CEO and co-founder of L + M Development Partners, discussed the double bottom line impact of investing in affordable housing at UJA-Federation of New York’s Westchester Business and Professional Division fall breakfast Friday, Nov. 1, at Willow Ridge Country Club in Harrison. More than 130 guests attended the event.

The Westchester Business and Professional Division is committed to sustaining UJA-Federation's network of life-altering nonprofits by bringing together like-minded individuals with shared interests, values and purpose. “Thanks to our network of hundreds of nonprofits, we leverage our expertise to deliver innovative solutions to today’s most pressing challenges — fighting poverty, caring for the elderly, nurturing mental health and advocating for a better world,” said Scarsdale resident Gary Sastow who co-chairs the Westchester Business and Professional Division with Lynn Baglieber, also of Scarsdale.

L & M specializes in community-driven urban development and the preservation of affordable housing. The firm is responsible for more than $7 billion in development and investment, and has acquired, built or preserved nearly 25,000 residential units in the tri-state area and across the country. They are currently working on a project in downtown New Rochelle.

(1) comment


What is behind this "article's" appearance here is baffling especially since it yields no insight into affordable housing much less the author. Instead it merely provides publicity for two firms doing business in the so-called :affordable arena. So in the absence of insight tendered by those in the industry, allow me, no longer in the industry, to peel a few layers off the onion and provide readers with the real lowdown. "Affordable" like beauty is an arguable term. Certainly for those tenants who work in Westchester and manage to live in Westchester, incomes not yet even experiencing the slow arrival of s living wage of $15.00 an hour (White Plains first gets to $13.00 January 1) like the somebody who operates the register for you at the drugstore or unpacks and shelves items at a supermarket, these persons do not find "affordable" as near affordable given the source of its definition by the County. There are no rental units being built for rents under $1,000 a month. Instead, affordable housing is a highly profitable segment of the market in which the monthly rent is merely the starting point for gouging tenants. It's the extras that move mandated monthly rent up and beyond market rate. Extras are fees for parking spaces, heat and hot water, use of onsite amenities like gyms, swimming pools..amenities which are already included in market rate units. Since few to none subsidized housing units are built, affordable rents have crept into a void open to an invasion by nomenclature. Next time you're in a store, ask an employee how much he or she an afford to pay in rent (guidelines suggest 30% of income is the upper reach). So even assuming someone earns $15 an hour for 40 hours a week for 52 weeks, that yields a before taxes gross of $31,200. Take 30% of that and you get $9,360 divided by 12 to get monthly rent and the result is $780 a month. Perhaps insight can be gleaned were any of those developers attending the breakfast to be asked if they have any apartments for rent @ $780. How's that for insight?

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