The statistics about home prices are alarming ["Price tags for homes in fat lane," News, Aug. 19].
In Suffolk County, new buyers will spend 56 percent of their average wage on a median-priced home, nearly double what the Department of Housing and Urban Development recommends. Additionally, young adults have seen a 22 percent drop in wages since 1970, hindering their ability to achieve the upward mobility possible in their parents' generation. Long Island is not facing an affordability gap; it is facing an affordability crisis.
Every year, Long Island loses $700 million in spending by young adult who cannot afford to live independently. That's in addition to the millions of dollars we lose in educational investment from a very real brain-drain. Municipalities must allow for larger rental buildings near downtown train stations to make affordably priced units possible. Industrial development agencies need to pass policies that incentive affordable housing and reform archaic regulations.
The old ways will not do. If we want to see a Levittown 2.0, where young families build a better Long Island, the solution is clear; Adopt zoning and incentive policies that will encourage affordable development. More affordable housing is the key.
Matthew T. McDonough, Babylon
CEO, Babylon IDA