The Crisis of Fair, Affordable Housing on Long Island: An Analysis of the Long Island Workforce Housing Act

May 1, 2015

Long Island Community Foundation

The Center for Popular Democracy

Long Island, New York, a sprawling suburban region of over a hundred towns, has faced an increasing crisis of housing affordability in the last several decades. While originally developed as an affordable bedroom community for families seeking a better life, the dearth of affordable housing options now undercuts the region’s founding vision. New developments tend to target well-off families, with middle and lower-income residents forced to pay a large portion of their income to cover high rents and to live far from transportation, quality schools, and job opportunities. Although the economy has begun to recover since the 2008 crash, the housing crisis continues to impact the region: more than half of all Long Islanders can barely afford their rent payments. Indeed, the lack of affordable housing hits residents at essentially every level of the income scale, save the very well off. A recent report by the Regional Plan Association found that workers in professions like electricians, computer support specialists, and licensed practical nurses—in addition to lower-income residents—are in dire need of affordable housing options.1

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Research and Analysis · Stopping the Attack on New York's Middle Class

Future of the Middle Class

CQ Press

Peter Katel

The percentage of middle-income U.S. households has declined significantly in recent years, leading some economists, policy experts and politicians to argue that the American middle class is in deep trouble — or even disappearing. Globalization, automation and declining union membership have shrunk the manufacturing workforce — historically a bulwark...

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