A Pathway for Urban Revitalization: Community Development Health & Housing
The theme of urban revitalization and the intersection of housing, health, and community and economic development brought over 140 attendees to the 2018 Housing Forum held September 28 in Poughkeepsie. Pattern jumpstarted the event with an overview of synergies between housing and economic development, and a presentation about struggling households and the importance of increasing the supply of a wide range of housing options. Speakers from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, NeighborWorks America, the Center for Community Progress, and Lawrence Community Works presented valuable tools and techniques about revitalizing the urban centers.
The forum also included a panel discussion on the links between economic development and housing. The panel included Matt Rand from BHG Rand Realty, Sue Gerry from the Westchester Medical Center Health Network, Joe Bonura from the Bonura Hospitality Group, and Joe Apicella from MacQuesten Development and was moderated by Mike Oates, President & CEO of Hudson Valley Economic Development Corporation. Panelists spoke about the need for additional rental housing serving households at all income levels. New housing developments with amenities are critical for economic development to advance and to attract and retain the workforce.
Pattern provided a snapshot of countywide data from the recently released report from the United Way known as ALICE, which stands for Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed. The data represents the growing number of individuals and families who are working, but are unable to afford the basic necessities of housing, child care, food, transportation and health care.
Presentations from the Presenters
Joseph Czajka-Pattern for Progress
Jason Bram-Federal Reserve Bank of New York
Urbanization and The Regional Economy
Jessica Andors-Lawrence Community Works
A Network Based Approach to Community Development
Alan Mallach-Center for Community Progress
The Challenge of Revitalizing Small Cities
Sarah Norman-NeighorWorks America
Working Together for Stronger Communities
Housing in Urban Centers
The face of the Hudson Valley is changing due to population shifts, growth and residents’ needs. Many view those improvements as an important evolution. But others are finding themselves left behind — and wondering how they fit into communities once very familiar, but now different.
That issue, gentrification, has been a longstanding focus of Hudson Valley Pattern for Progress. Its latest effort to provide a framework for the road ahead was a forum, “Gentrification: Finding a Balance,” Dec. 15 at the Lewis Tompkins Hose Firehouse in Beacon. An in-depth report now available from Pattern’s Center for Housing Solutions and Urban Initiatives tackles the issue, suggesting solutions and more.
Keynote speaker Ruben Diaz Jr., borough president of the Bronx, provided a roadmap regarding how his community has rocketed forward via “planning with a purpose” and always keeping residents and their needs and opportunities top of mind.
The result: A community that’s now safer than many of America’s major cities, including Philadelphia, Dallas and Boston. A community with an unemployment rate that’s been halved. A community where private investment is powering new housing, businesses and more. A community where tourism is surging. And a community where residents can still be part of the emerging landscape.
A panel discussion brought the issues home to the Hudson Valley. Beacon Mayor Randy Casale, developer Ken Kearney of Kearney Realty & Development, Dutchess County Planning Department expert Anne Saylor, and moderator Greg Maher of Leviticus 25:23 Alternative Fund, Inc., explained approaches, successes and opportunity.
The forum was held to assist elected officials see how to achieve balance in growth. It also attracted municipal planners, housing officials and community groups considering strategies to stake out the future. The program was sponsored by Orange & Rockland Utilities, the Community Preservation Corp. and Holt Construction.