Resistance to affordable housing in New Castle goes back years. The impasse is the subject of a talk led by Tax Watch columnist David McKay Wilson at New Castle Town Hall on May 20 at 7 p.m.

By David McKay Wilson| The Journal News

May 18, 2015.- Finding an acceptable location for affordable housing in the hometown of presidential candidate Hillary Clinton and Gov. Andrew Cuomo has proved elusive for many years.

Since 2000, just three affordable units have gone up in New Castle while several other plans have become snarled in lengthy legal battles, or just scuttled in the face of neighborhood resistance.

The Chappaqua Crossing plan, for 20 units in the old Reader’s Digest headquarters, more than 10 years in the making, still has a few hurdles to clear before construction can begin. The 28-unit Chappaqua Station plan is involved in a US Justice Department inquiry over Westchester County’s compliance with its Fair Housing settlement because the project’s construction is very much in peril. The Town Board has asked Conifer Realty to scrap its plan by the Metro-North tracks and start fresh with a new project next to the New Castle police station.

The impasse in Chappaqua led housing monitor James Johnson in early May to impose sanctions against Westchester that now total $270,000, and are growing by $60,000 a month.

Meanwhile, plans that surfaced in 2014 to build affordable apartments by the First Congregational Church, a half-mile from Clinton’s home, and next to the Chappaqua Fire Department firehouse, just a mile away, where shelved after neighbors at both locations objected.

I’ll be discussing the town of New Castle’s resistance to affordable housing with housing leader Alexander Roberts in a community conversation on May 20 at 7 p.m. at New Castle Town Hall. Roberts, of Tarrytown, is executive director of Community Housing Innovations, a nonprofit that houses 1,000 homeless residents each night throughout the metropolitan region, and is building the 22-unit Waterwheel project in Ardsley, and an 81-unit affordable-housing complex in Mount Vernon.

Roberts last visited New Castle Town Hall in April, 2014 for a meeting about building 40 units on a one-acre parcel where the Chappaqua Animal Hospital now stands on King Street, next to the firehouse. Community Housing Innovations at the time was negotiating an option agreement to buy the property, which had been on the market for several years…

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