Letters to the Editor - 2-22-24

Concerns about approach to Amenia's affordable housing

The Amenia Town Board will be voting on the rezoning of the HRH development of lower income homes on the steep hill across from Town Hall. These homes will be awarded based on a housing lottery or another mechanism that the Town or HRH has not shared. The Housing Board states this as the solution to the lack of afforable housing in our town. However, HRH, the Amenia Housing Board and the Town Board have not fully explained to Amenia who is eligible for these homes and how much they will ultimately cost our town.

Amenia residents need to understand that under federal and state laws, HRH must open up the applications to all of New York State. Additionally, per NYS’s 2022 RFP for an online application system, “Owners may receive hundreds or a thousand more Applications than they have units available.” Housing then touted as for Amenia can not exclusively be reserved for Amenians UNLESS OUR TOWN BREAKS THE FEDERAL and STATE LAW. Residents of Poughkeepsie, Pine Plains, Dover, and even NYC can apply and earn the right to purchase a home in Amenia.

The Town board may try to tell you that units may be reserved for locals but a recent lawsuit in NYC has set precedent that that may no longer be allowed. If the town follows the terms of that lawsuit, 10-20% of the units may be offered to Amenians. How does that solve our housing problem?

HRH has limited funds. The Housing Board or the Town Board has never stated how much money they will need to contribute to the project. Yet, they have spoke about adding sidewalks and a traffic light. In fact, Charlie Miller and Leo Blackman also spoke about making a road parallel to Route 22 though private property at the Jan. 31 Town Board meeting (Feb. 1, starting at minute 50 onwards). Other Town Board members are saying privately it would run through FOUR BROTHERS and that it is allowed based on the 2005/7 Comprehensive Plan.

The Town never stated how they would obtain that private land or how will it be paid for and maintained. They have not stated who will maintain the HRH road in winter. We must ask ourselves why should Amenia spend money on a new road, sidewalks, traffic lights and plowing as well as MANY other costs that have not been delineated for homes for families outside of Amenia.

Caroline Greene


Amenia Fire Co. thank-you

On Sunday, February 18, the Amenia Fire Company sponsored its monthly Pancake Breakfast. We were pleased to have a nice crowd of 137 people in attendance for our monthly meal. We rely on the breakfasts to raise needed money for general operations and we always appreciate the support of the community. We thank everyone who attended our meal, and we will return again on March 17.

Andy Murphy, on behalf of the Breakfast Committee Amenia Fire Co. and Auxiliary

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