Two Cents

The need for Newburgh is not more low-income housing. We need to take care of and maintain the affordable housing stock that we have, get abandoned houses back on the tax rolls no matter how small of a percentage they contribute (every little bit helps!), and clean up our community in order to attract more businesses to the city. These neighborhoods have been neglected for decades because the politicians here have not focused on growth and development. Not only is Newburgh becoming a dumping site for others... our own struggling with homelessness, mental illness, poverty, hunger and joblessness continue to be ignored. Displacement is happening here also.

From my experience on Beacon’s City Council as an elected official, as well as an appointed official for the Dutchess County Commission on Human Rights, Newburgh has the people power, the infrastructure and the will to generate the means to truly and positively impact this community. It takes hard work, know-how and a focus on what’s most important: our neighbors, our own, quality of life.

Living in a such a divisive state will not get more people involved, especially if they’re treated as if they don’t deserve or aren’t allowed to be there. Poor folks are tired of being talked down to by people with more means and different educational levels, telling them what they need to survive. The truth is that most Newburgh residents are cost burdened, similar to the majority of people displaced from the city of Beacon, like me. The answer isn’t more low-income housing. It’s job development, it’s economic development, it’s improving upon the services already being provided which are not efficient. The tax base affects how much renters pay, so it is a misconception that renters don’t contribute to the economy or aren't affected by the economic health of a municipality. Again, in the case of the City of Newburgh, attracting more jobs to Broadway and the waterfront will help stabilize the tax base. Getting folks livable wage with transferable skills will help boost the economy, as well as contribute to their quality of life. If people make more, they will be less burdened by their bills and their necessities.

From my experience, we all must contribute, becoming more invested and involved, while applying positive pressure to those in elected and appointed positions. Where is the City of Newburgh on executing these plans? 2019 is quickly approaching: Who has the foresight to lead, manage, and unite our City?

Some numbers that back this up below: 

“Households facing the termination of re‐housing assistance are in a similar situation. In order to obtain a stable housing situation, they need full‐time employment, affordable child care, affordable housing, and transportation. Access to healthcare, life skills training, and additional education and/or training, including GED programs, and English as a Second Language, is valuable, if not necessary, in most situations.” -…/10-2_nburgh_con_plan_pr…

  • Per household $16,000
  • Living in poverty 27%
  • HUD has identified four housing problems, which are (1) overcrowding, (2) lack of complete kitchen, (3) lack of complete plumbing, and (4) cost burden.
  • The largest employment sector in Newburgh is Education and Health Care Services, with Manufacturing as the second largest sector in terms of employment, Retail as third, and Arts, Entertainment and Accommodations/Food Service as fourth.


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