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Zegarelli: Briarcliff Housing Agreement a Home Run

BRIARCLIFF MANOR, N.Y. – Village Manager Philip Zegarelli praised the Westchester County Board of Legislators Wednesday for moving forward with an affordable housing agreement.

Zegarelli said he was very pleased to hear that the county legislature authorized the purchase of 445 North State Road in Briarcliff Manor to be used for affordable housing. The legislature also authorized an inter-municipal agreement with the village of Briarcliff Manor during the board’s regular meeting Tuesday night, according to a press release. Lastly, the board authorized $1.5 million to purchase the 3/4 of an acre property with intentions of building “14 two-bedroom units of fair and affordable housing for ownership by eligible families with incomes at or below 80 percent of the Westchester County Area Median Income,” according to the release.

Zegarelli said building permits could be pulled shortly.

“The mayor and board are very pleased that the board of legislators has signed off on the funding for their portion and we believe this is a homerun,” Zegarelli said. “It’s along a bus route, it’s within a reasonable distance of shopping and based on the approvals by the feds, state and county, they’re going to be coming in for building permits in the next two to three months.”

Zegarelli noted the village does not hold ownership of the property, but a private owner previously requested that the property be considered for affordable housing use.

“This thing has been going on for a while and it was a sincere effort on everyone’s part to get this done,” he said. “To us, this is a great use of the property and is in keeping with the layout of that part of the village. Grand slam to me.”

The property is set to be a part of the county’s settlement agreement to build a total of 750 units of affordable housing in 31 communities. While Briarcliff Manor does not have a specific quota it must reach as a part of the agreement, Zegarelli said “it’s a good first step.”

Legislator Catherine Borgia (D-Ossining), who helped pass the legislation as chair of the board of legislators’ government operations committee, said she was happy to see all municipalities involved moving forward.

“I think this is going to be great for Briarcliff and the town of Ossining,” Borgia said Wednesday. “I think it’s going to be excellent actually for everyone because it will bring people into the downtowns. And it provides homeownership for people who we want to have in our community.”

Legislature representatives said Tuesday that developer 445 North State Road Partners LLC also “plans to build 3,500 square feet of new market-rate commercial space adjacent to the housing, at no cost to the county,” according to the release.

Majority leader of the legislature, Pete Harckham (D-Katonah), praised the decision to move forward with the project.

“Investing in fair and affordable housing ensures that our communities remain affordable for the folks who make Westchester a unique and rewarding place to live,” Harckham said in the release. “The county is united in attempting to provide new housing units, like these that will be built in Briarcliff Manor and we eagerly look forward to more collaboration in this regard.”

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