BRI News

Welcome Home Westchester Holds Boot Camp for Newly-Elected Officials

(February 15, 2024) Today the Welcome Home Westchester campaign hosted 18 local and county officials at Pace University Law School in White Plains for “boot camp” style presentations and discussions on addressing the housing needs of our communities. The program was specifically designed for those who were recently elected or otherwise new to their roles.

They heard from Westchester County Deputy Executive Ken Jenkins; Westchester County Planning Commissioner Blanca Lopez on the countywide findings and community-by-community analysis of the 2019 Housing Needs Assessment; Jacqueline Novotny, Senior Vice President of CBRE, on her company’s research and analysis on the changing market for commercial real estate, the declining office market, and opportunities related to new multifamily, particularly in terms of new property tax revenue for municipalities; Ellen Calves, Bedford Town Supervisor on some of the practical challenges she’s faced as an elected official trying to move forward on building some context-appropriate new housing in her community; and Tiffany Zezula of Pace University Land Use Law Center and the Housing Action Council on various funding opportunities, technical support, and resources available to municipal officials, including participation in the  award-winning Land Use Leadership Alliance (LULA) Training Program.

 Particularly for newly elected officials, dealing with the issues of housing production and housing affordability at the local level can sometimes feel like you’re walking into the middle of a conversation. This “boot camp” session was designed to supply the “big picture” of the housing shortage and provide basic data and information, local perspectives, and best practices. The partners of our campaign look forward to continuing the conversation!

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