Pattern For Progress Housing Report Underscores Future Needs in Hudson Valley

Sep 18, 2012

Pattern for Progress is out with its annual housing report - Hudson Valley Bureau Chief Dave Lucas has details...

In "Housing the Hudson Valley, Unlocking the Opportunities" Pattern for Progress finds the lower Hudson region not much better off than a year ago. Westchester is the only county where the housing market is poised to be getting back on track.

Unemployment rates, foreclosures, short sales and a tightening of mortgage underwriting criteria for both buyer and builder are all slowing economic recovery in the Hudson Valley.

Through a series of regional housing forums and workshops held over the last 12 months, which were attended by private developers and builders, not-for-profit housing agencies, lenders, real estate investors and community development officials --- Pattern found the most pressing issues today include the need for affordable and market rate rental units. Vacancy rates for rental units currently are near zero percent and waiting lists for affordable units are years long.

The impact of declining home values on neighborhoods and the local economy has become a major concern for sustaining healthy communities.

Pattern President and CEO Jonathan Drapkin says the Valley has simply "stopped growing"

Taking a telescopic look into the future, Pattern finds the housing market will have to adjust to shifting demographics, as the baby-boomers fade from the picture just as "the millennial generation" comes rushing in.

In the lower Hudson Valley, the age 65 and over population is projected to grow about 43 percent by 2030 - creating a need for senior housing that needs to be planned for NOW.

Drapkin says Pattern's effort to ignite a new housing strategy involve creating the new “center for housing solutions with a mission of research and public policy advocacy to address the region’s housing needs.”

Pattern will advocate for additional state and federal funding to meet future housing needs - and it's calling for flexible building codes and land use policies that will accommodate shifting demographics. Pattern's full report will be issued to the public on September 27th.