The nation’s leading affordable homeownership nonprofit will listen to the community in designing services, working in partnership with local families and leaders committed to safe, decent, and affordable homes for all residents
Habitat for Humanity New York City has expanded its services to Westchester County, New York.
While disclosing this on Wednesday October 28, 2020, Karen Haycox, CEO, stated that the expansion will extend its footprint beyond the five boroughs for the first time in its nearly 40-year history.
“We look forward to listening to and learning from housing professionals in communities all around Westchester County, and ultimately to working with them to increase access to safe and affordable homeownership,” said Haycox.
“Habitat NYC has a proven track-record that includes not only our traditional volunteer-led homebuilding efforts, but also more complex and innovative construction and housing preservation solutions that allow us to reach families at a much greater scale.
“We will bring both of these approaches to Westchester, to serve as many families as we can and we will be counting on Westchester county residents from all walks of life to join us in our efforts to assist the more than 140,000 families across the county who struggle to keep a roof overhead,” he added.
“Habitat NYC has built a strong foundation as a builder of homes and community across four decades of service,” said Adrienne Goolsby, Habitat for Humanity International’s senior vice president for the U.S. & Canada.
“We have full confidence that Habitat NYC has the strength, credibility and commitment to help tackle the growing housing needs in Westchester County. Habitat NYC presented a comprehensive plan that shows they will listen to the community in designing their services, and work in partnership with families seeking safe, decent and affordable homes,” he added.
Habitat NYC’s approach in Westchester includes the same patient, listen-first attitude undergirding their success in New York City.
Habitat sees the 2019 Westchester County Housing Needs Assessment as an outline of the following opportunities and challenges on which to partner with government, business, and community groups such as:
· Transit-oriented development (TOD),
· Adaptive re-use of faith-based and government-owned properties,
· Accessory dwelling units (ADU),
· Community land trust establishment, and
· Zoning and land use ordinance reform.
“As a 30-year resident of and affordable homebuilder in Westchester, I am acutely aware of the demands for affordable housing in the county and for ways for residents to get involved,” said Peter Murray, board member of Habitat NYC and Chair of its newly established Westchester County Advisory Board.
“With Habitat NYC’s new service area, we have a true opportunity to meet both of these needs.
“Having served on the Habitat NYC board for the last decade, I know that we will empower residents who long to participate in solving this housing crisis.
“Habitat NYC has improved the lives of thousands of New York City residents and is now going to do the same in Westchester,” he added.
Habitat NYC will engage with community stakeholders across the county in a listening tour of the affordable housing landscape, of the needs and gaps and how Habitat NYC can best support local efforts.
Over time, Habitat NYC will build on these engagements, seeking opportunities to advance joint ventures and other significant collaborations, to build local expertise and harness the resources of Habitat NYC to serve generations of Westchester residents through strong, stable affordable homeownership and rental opportunities.
“The Housing Action Council welcomes Habitat for Humanity New York City to Westchester and its not-for-profit housing community,” said Rose Noonan, Executive Director of Housing Action Council, a leading Westchester-based non-profit that works to increase affordable housing in the county.
“By bringing resources, expertise, and a housing delivery system, they will complement the work of others and increase affordable homeownership opportunities.
“We look forward to partnering with Habitat to respond to Westchester’s needs,” she added.