Keeping Young People on Long Island
There is no long term issue as pressing and urgent as keeping millennials right here on Long Island. We must take ACTION NOW, to ensure that our young people stay here– countless young people have left Nassau County and headed to Brooklyn, North Carolina, Texas and many other locations in search of good jobs, affordable rents, and attractive cities. The recipe for keeping young people here is not rocket science– it simply takes action and foresight.
For young people between the ages of 22-30, there are two housing options on Long Island– live in their parent’s home or leave. Anybody who thinks $3,500 a month for rent for a 1 bedroom apartment is “affordable housing” is not dealing in reality. We already plan affordable housing projects for senior citizens, so why not for youths who can contribute to the growth of Nassau County long term? Designated rental units for youths should be built in communities with struggling downtowns, or areas in Nassau County who themselves have expressed urgency for revitalization. Farmingdale and Westbury are being revitalized by young people. Let’s give youths the same opportunity as seniors for affordable housing. Tax credits for builders providing youth housing and a discounted LIRR ticket to commute to NYC can keep many youths on Long Island. We need to grow our downtown areas, to create “Cool Downtowns” that offer walkability, access to transportation hubs and affordable housing.