Facebook post from Martha White:
This is LONG BUT WORTH IT. Please READ AND SHARE! I’ve heard a lot of people asking lately: Why bankrupt Newburgh homeowners with high taxes? Why cripple landlords with a combination of high taxes and rent caps?
Here’s the deal: Those consequences aren’t an unfortunate by-product: They’re the ENTIRE POINT.
Newburgh’s elected and appointed leaders have embraced the Ford Foundation-funded “4th Regional Plan,” a plan for housing, transportation, conservation, economic growth — the whole kit-n-kaboodle. There’s a link to the report at the bottom of this, but I’ll excerpt the key part here (on pg 25) and explain the development jargon in plain English. Read the below first.
“The Newburgh Land Bank, formed in 2014, played a critical role in rehabilitating hundreds of formerly blighted properties and supporting infill mixed-use development of vacant lots. Houses were made available to low- and moderate-income first-time homebuyers, and many apartment buildings were turned into affordable cooperatives or community land trusts with permanently affordable units.”
So. The Land Bank is the entity that winds up with a lot of the houses that get foreclosed on for back taxes, because the city council/CM have a habit of basically rubber-stamping their requests. This means: The more people that lose their homes because they can’t afford taxes, the more real estate the Land Bank can gobble up and then dole out to whomever at their discretion.
That’s bad enough, but for landlords, it’s worse: “Buildings were turned into affordable cooperatives or community land trusts with permanently affordable units.” Let’s break this down! What they’re really doing is taking real estate away from owners. And “affordable cooperatives” means they’re turning buildings from privately-owned into property that is held by a nonprofit (Heyo! More property off the tax rolls!) entity.
BUT WAIT — there’s more. Also on pg 25 of the report: “Newburgh even partnered with surrounding municipalities in Orange County to ensure development was concentrated in the city through transfer of development-right agreement that conserved land outside.”
Again, here’s a jargon-to-English translation: “Transfer of development-right agreements” means OTHER municipalities (think New Windsor, Cornwall, etc.) will be able to pay Newburgh to cram more people into our four little square miles so THEY can have more parks and pretty green space. That sounds crazy, right? Like, why would we agree to that? ...Well, we wouldn’t, unless we were SO cash-strapped that we had no other choice… (ohhhh… )
And suddenly, the erosion of the tax base looks like a deliberate tactic rather than happenstance. This is a big honking land grab, facilitated by Newburgh’s so-called leaders, that benefits the “philanthropic” poverty industry and our richer neighbors. And it’s not a mistake. It’s THE PLAN.
See the full post here: Martha White's Facebook post
Read more here: The Fourth Regional Plan