BCW study: White Plains has appeal for young adults, but more affordable housing needed

A study released last week by the Business Council of Westchester and its Westchester Coalition for Business Development looked into one of the most critical questions facing county businesses: Why are young adults leaving en masse?

The answer is that, while areas such as White Plains, Katonah, Purchase, Scarsdale, Rye, Port Chester and Yonkers all have unique characteristics that make them strong candidates for young professionals, the cost of living is simply too high to justify living in Westchester instead of living in NYC.

(See Bureau Chief John Golden’s article here on Westfair Online.)

Kudos to both the Business Council and the Westchester County Association for making multi-use developments and the re-development of some of the county’s defunct commercial office space as affordable housing units priorities as part of their respective economic development initiatives. Now, the challenge is convincing property owners, developers, and municipal zoning boards of the validity of their conclusions.

It is now up to economic development advocates to work alongside all of the crucial parties to implement a strategy that can yield action, and not just studies and words of encouragement.

Economic poll; Calls for national infrastructure bank; Obama to call for $300 billion jobs plan

Lots to talk about this afternoon:

LEADING OFF: A majority of New Yorkers surveyed by Siena College believe the country’s economic glory days are behind us. Fifty percent of those surveyed feel that the U.S. economy will not regain its past form, compared to 45 percent who believe that the current economic issues are temporary.

  • MY TAKE: The president and Congress have failed. They have failed to spur job growth but nearly as important, they have failed to demonstrate to the American people that they are capable of working jointly towards boosting productivity. That is why confidence in the economy’s ability to recover is at such low levels. However, looking purely at America’s businesses – from Fortune 500 companies down to the small businesses – those that are well-managed already have all of the tools needed to recover fully from the current malaise. If the federal government signals it is ready to cooperate (or if it becomes desperate enough to do so) then people will respond with more confidence and in turn more spending.   

FROM THE “HAVE WE HEARD THIS BEFORE” DEPARTMENT: Rep. Nita Lowey (D-18) called for a national infrastructure bank to be established, and has said she will fully support legislation introduced by Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) that would kick-start this endeavor by investing $5 billion each year for the next 5 years.

  • What Westchester County Association President William Mooney says:  “The Westchester County Association commends Congresswoman Lowey for her leadership in creating a National Infrastructure Bank. As we’ve identified in our economic development initiative The Blueprint for Westchester, the region’s economy–and our ability to attract and retain business here–is dependent on a functional infrastructure system. A more modern infrastructure will help Westchester and the region meet future energy, technology, transportation, and telecommunications needs, and bring needed jobs to the region.”

ALL EYES ON OBAMA: Pres. Obama will unveil the “American Jobs Act” in a nationally-televised speech tonight before both houses of Congress. Spokesman Jay Carney said in interviews today that the bill would be ready to be submitted to Congress within a week, along with a provision to pay for the proposals included.

  • GOP already fired up: Sen. Mitch McConnell, who emerged from the debt ceiling talks remarkably unscathed (so far as I can tell), had this to say (from a speech made on the Senate floor) – “The definition of insanity, Albert Einstein once famously put it, is to do the same thing over and over again and expect a different result. Frankly I can’t think of a better description of anyone who thinks the solution to the problem is another stimulus. The first stimulus didn’t do it. Why would another?”