Transit Oriented Development
Date Posted 9/11/2012
WHA is working with the Village of Mamaroneck to provide Transit Oriented Development within ½ mile of the Railroad Station. The Village comprehensive plan calls for incentivizing affordable housing, providing quality public space, and linking the villages retail and central business districts. The study will include heavy community involvement.The Village of Mamaroneck is taking bold steps to promote smart growth through revitalization of its downtown area surrounding the train station. Click here for the TOD Grant Application.
Mamaroneck Library uses WHA back yard for reading time
Date Posted 7/20/2012
Washingtonville Housing Alliance Spring Fever Annual Dinner
Date Posted 5/21/2012
Over two hundred and twenty supporters and local residents gathered on May 3rd, 2012 to celebrate Washingtonville Housing Alliance’s Spring Fever Annual Dinner. The event honoree was long time resident Joseph Germano. Lifetime Achievement awards were presented to Rev. William Crawford of Larchmont Avenue Church and NYS Senator Suzi Oppenheimer. Our Annual Dinner was held at the Hampshire Country Club and was very successful in raising over $33,000 to support WHA’s programs.
Among the attendees were Mamaroneck Mayor Norman Rosenblum, State Legislator George Latimer, County Legislator Judith Myers, Town Supervisor Nancy Seligson, retired Town Supervisor Valerie O’Keeffe, Trustee Tony Ryan, Trustee Sid Albert, Village Manager Richard Slingerland and Hon. Thea Beaver, Larchmont Village Judge. Joseph Germano received a proclamation from Mayor Rosenblum declaring May 3rd, 2012, as “Joseph Germano Day.”
Washingtonville Housing Alliance, based in Mamaroneck, NY provides affordable rental housing, emergency rent assistance, and senior home repair programs to Mamaroneck and the surrounding area.
Jefferson Meighan, Esq. of
Counsel and Valerie O’Keeffe
Suzi Oppenheimer and
Legislator Judith Myers
County Legislator Judith Myers and
Rev. William Crawford of Larchmont Avenue Church
Please be sure to review the photo gallery of the
Washingtonville Housing Alliance Spring Dinner 5/3/2012 at
You can also order prints.
Economic Impact Article
Date Posted 4/4/2012
Click here for the article
Peoples Bank Newsletter Article
Date Posted 1/30/2012
In Fall 2010 Washingtonville Housing Alliance in Mamaroneck, NY held the first pilot series of 4 workshops for its Financial Literacy program. It consisted of Basic Banking, Credit Cards and Credit Reports, Improving Your Credit Score, and Improving Your Financial Situation. After the attendees completed all the workshops they had a chance to win a cash prize of $250. We had two recipients win and they were awarded their prize along with a certificate of completion in October 2011.
Two recipients of the $250 prize holding their certificate of completion.
In our second year Washingtonville Housing Alliance was awarded $5,000 from the Peoples United Bank Foundation to continue WHA’s Financial Literacy program. Our training partner lost their funding so WHA had to take a new approach. Instead of having a group workshop Washingtonville Housing Alliance revamped the program to a one on one guidance with clients seeking financial assistance. WHA Program Associate Angela Torero meets with each client individually. They are asked to fill in a monthly budget sheet. By doing this the client can see where they are spending too much and find a way to reduce or eliminate unnecessary expenses. During the one on one session the client is given choices in reducing bills and applying for state programs such as food stamps, H.E.A.P., rent subsidies and Federal cell phone programs. These programs can reduce the client’s monthly expenses by at least 25% if they qualify and enroll.
One successful case was when a working single mother was having trouble keeping up with her bills and always found herself in rental arrears. She applied to WHA for financial assistance for rental arrears. After she developed her budget with WHA’s help she was able to identify many unnecessary expenses. For example eliminate her cell phone and reduce her cable package. She reduced her monthly budget sheet and together with the Angela Torero’s assistance drew up a payment schedule with dates and balance amounts. She posted the schedule on her refrigerator to remind her of her weekly obligations. Beginning January 2011 she will no longer be in arrears and her bills are being paid on time.
Washingtonville Housing Alliance brings funds into the Mamaroneck Community
Date Posted 10/6/2010
In recent reports to our funders, WHA reported that:
Our $84,000 Neighborhood Preservation Corporation operating grant from New York State-DHCR for the year ending 6/30/2010 was matched by over $500,000 of other Federal, County, local and private funding brought in to benefit Mamaroneck area residents
Our $8,550 Eviction Prevention (ESG) Grant from Westchester County for the year ending 7/31/2010 was matched by over $48,000 in other grant funds that were assembled on a case by case basis to ensure that families avoided eviction. 26 families, from Mamaroneck and Larchmont, were assisted with eviction prevention grants.
WHA recently received contract approval for renovation work on 11 Madison Street, Mamaroneck – roof replacement and renovation of Apartment 3 – for a total of $35,655. This is a low interest (3%) loan repayable over 10 years, funded by Federal Community Development Block Grant funds through Westchester County. We will also shortly be moving ahead with contracting for boiler replacement at 725 Old White Plains Road using a $21,900 CDBG grant that we were awarded in 2009.
This is a total of $57,555 of low cost or grant funded property improvements scheduled for this fall with work to be carried out by local contractors. WHA is eligible for low interest federal funds as a not-for-profit housing agency operating its buildings under HOME guidelines for tenants at or below 60% of median income.
The Washingtonville Housing Alliance (WHA) was formed in 1980 to improve the housing conditions of low and moderate-income residents in the Mamaroneck area. WHA constructs new affordable housing, improves existing housing and undertakes other supportive activities designed to sustain a community that is culturally diverse, multi-generational and of mixed income. WHA is local, effective and accountable.
For more information please contact:
Jeremy N. Ingpen
Washingtonville Housing Alliance
136 Library Lane
Mamaroneck NY 10543
Phone: 914-698-4299 x14
Date Posted 7/13/2010
Washingtonville Housing Alliance Saves Energy
Date Posted 3/9/2010
Through a series of systematic energy conservation measures, Washingtonville Housing Alliance has accomplished significant reductions in energy usage in three of its apartment buildings. Average heating gas usage is down year to year by an average of 14% with a maximum reduction of 20% in one building. Common area electric usage is down by an average of 18% with a maximum reduction of 24% in one building.
We have accomplished these savings through improved insulation, sealing cracks and gaps around windows and doors, installation of energy efficient fixtures and appliances, and updating out thermostats. Washingtonville Housing Alliance thanks Mamaroneck architect Sal Behar for his advice, and WestCop Weatherization and NYSERDA EMPOWER programs for their technical assistance and the excellent work done by their installation crews. Reduced energy costs allow WHA to put more money into building upgrades, enhancing our tenants’ homes.
Washingtonville Housing Alliance is a not-for-profit affordable housing corporation serving the Mamaroneck and surrounding area. WHA is celebrating its 30th anniversary in 2010.
Westchester Acceuil Raises $7,500 for V.O.M. Emergency Fund
Date Posted 3/9/2010
Every year the French Community of the Sound Shore holds a Fall Bazaar and Craft Sale in Mamaroneck. Every year the proceeds of this Bazaar are given to fund the Village of Mamaroneck (V.O.M.) Emergency Fund. This provides emergency grants to Village of Mamaroneck residents to help with utility shutoffs, medications, transport, emergency food assistance, and school supplies. This year the Westchester Acceuil Fall Bazaar raised a total of $7,500 for the V.O.M. Emergency Fund.
In 2009, the V.O.M. Emergency Fund was transferred from the Village to be managed by Washingtonville Housing Alliance. Since February 2009, W.H.A. has made twenty-six emergency assistance grants averaging $291 for a total of $ 7, 570. These grants were made for emergency utility shut-offs, emergency food, medical, bills and prescriptions.
Board Chair Beverly Brewer-Villa said, “We are very grateful to the French Community for their tremendous generosity. With the impact of the recession, we have seen a great demand for emergency funds, as has every other social service agency.”
There are many families in Mamaroneck Village who will now again be able to say “Merci Beaucoup!”
SIGNIFICANT NUMBERS OF WOMEN AND CHILDREN LIVING IN POVERTY IN LARCHMONT/MAMARONECK
GAP SEEN IN SERVICES VERSUS NEEDS
Date Posted 1/21/2010
Like many affluent Westchester communities, Larchmont/Mamaroneck is home to trendy shops, upscale restaurants, luxury homes and expensive cars. At the same time, it is home to many individuals, disproportionately women and children, who fall so far below the average standard of living that they constantly have to struggle to meet basic needs. This is the picture painted by a panel at the January 19th meeting of the Local Summit, as presenters from several non-profit social service agencies and advocate groups shared various county and local statistics.
The lead-off speaker, Jeremy Ingpen, Summit board member and Executive Director of the Washingtonville Housing Alliance (WHA), a housing assistance agency in Mamaroneck, estimated that, based on his examination of multiple data sources, there are 250 to 500 female heads of household with children living in poverty in the Larchmont/Mamaroneck community and a significant number of single elderly women also living on minimal incomes.
Another speaker, Cora Greenberg, Executive Director of the White Plains-based Westchester Children's Association (WCA), an independent child advocacy group in existence since 1914, added a demographic from the American Community Survey that estimated the number of poor children living in Westchester in 2008 to be 26,635, or 11.7% of all children. The WCA website's homepage features this dramatic visual: "If Westchester's poor children held hands, they would stretch across the county from the Long Island Sound to the Hudson River" (www.wca4kids.org). Ms. Greenberg went on to make the point that although poor women and children are "fairly invisible" here in Westchester, their numbers are significant and it is important to remember that "our vision of where we live is not shared by everyone in Westchester."
SIZING THE PROBLEM
Mr. Ingpen framed the issue with statistics from a number of sources: the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), WHA intake information for families seeking housing assistance, and free school lunch data from a local elementary school. Currently, 60% of the 247 households in Larchmont and Mamaroneck receiving a Section 8 rent subsidy through HUD are headed by women. To qualify, households must have an income of no greater than 50% of the median county income. The 2009 HUD median annual income for a family of four in Westchester was $105,300; thus, to qualify for Section 8, a family of four must have an income of no greater than $52,650. But, Mr. Ingpen went on to explain, a full 77% of local families receiving Section 8 actually have annual incomes less than one-third of the county median, which means under $31,600 for a family of four. Although single mothers with children account for 52 of the 247 total Section 8 households in the community, almost twice this number -- 97 -- are females over the age of 62 who are living alone.
To further illuminate this "concentration of poverty" in female-headed households, Mr. Ingpen related statistics collected by WHA from those seeking housing assistance during 2008. Of the 300 families the organization served, two-thirds were headed by women, and the majority of these had incomes less than 30% of the median. The households were predominantly minority -- 25% African American and 60% Hispanic. None of these families receives Section 8 assistance, so they represent a separate number of poor households.
The number of students receiving free and reduced school lunch is another measure of the poverty in a community, since eligibility is based on a very minimal income -- less than $21,000 for a family of three. Mr. Ingpen observed that although 122 students currently receive free lunch at the Mamaroneck Avenue School, this under-represents the number of those eligible. Ms. Greenberg agreed that the school-lunch rate countywide was "woefully undercounted," in part because undocumented immigrants, although eligible, are reluctant to come forward to claim the benefit.
HISPANICS DISPROPORTIONATELY AT RISK
A third panelist, Zoe Colon, Executive Director of the Hispanic Resource Center (HRC) of Larchmont & Mamaroneck, expanded on the special circumstances of the Hispanic poor, calling them "disproportionately at risk," the undocumented immigrant "even more so." Women in these families are mostly engaged in domestic work that offers no such benefits as health insurance, or sick or vacation time off. They are often exploited, with some going unpaid for weeks at a time, without recourse. With the current recession, there is less work so that women who once worked full time are now underemployed and working part time. If women or children are undocumented, then they are not eligible for public benefits like food stamps and rent assistance.
HOUSEHOLD BUDGETS ILLUMINATING AND SOBERING
One eye-opening portion of the program was the presentation of household budgets by Mr. Ingpen. In order to receive emergency rent or utility assistance, the WHA requires clients to itemize their household expenditures and Mr. Ingpen shared several budget examples from single mothers with children. In the majority of these, 80% or more of the household income went to rent, with only minimal amounts left over to be budgeted for utilities and food, and typically none for child care.
Mr. Ingpen also pointed out one item on the revenue side that was typically missing -- child support. Ms. Greenberg said that Westchester County has "dramatically increased child support collection," but problems remain in that often the father is not employed or the mother does not want to seek court-ordered payment because of side payments of cash that go unreported.
A CALL TO ACTION
Discussion following the panel's remarks was lively, with a theme of how the community can understand and work to meet the needs of its impoverished members. Ms. Colon called for an updated community needs assessment and collaboration between various social agencies. She also outlined the steps the Hispanic Resource Center was taking to encourage immigrants to participate in the 2010 census count.
Panelists as well as audience members highlighted the gap between government assistance and community needs. Anna Dannoy, who supervises social services for both Mamaroneck Town and Mamaroneck Village, said the Section 8 waiting list was now frozen, with 75 of the approximately 300 local families on the list having already waited for two years. Although Section 8 applications are still being accepted, no new assistance is being provided at this time. Others pointed to the wait time and difficulty of application for services such as food stamps or child care assistance.
With the restrictions on government assistance, speakers stressed that it was important that nonprofits fill the gaps. Mr. Ingpen gave one example of how the Washingtonville Housing Alliance is doing this. Having recently received a grant from People's United Bank, WHA now plans to offer financial literacy programs to help clients achieve permanent financial stability.
The panelists and members of the audience representing social services organizations emphasized the importance of financial support by private individuals in the community so that their organizations could continue to provide support to those in need. Carolyn Pomeranz, Summit board member, provided some final words to the meeting when she said "we need to show compassion for those in need in our own community, in our own backyard. There are many, right here in Larchmont and Mamaroneck, who are struggling to make ends meet and truly need our help."
The Local Summit, which hosted the meeting, is an informal community council that seeks to make Larchmont/Mamaroneck a better place to live for everyone. Its regular monthly meetings take place at 7:45 a.m., typically on the third Tuesday of the month at the Nautilus Diner in Mamaroneck.
For information: Heidi Sickles 381-0667
Jeremy Ingpen 698-4299
Mary Lee Berridge 834-0192
Date Posted 1/4/2010
Washingtonville Housing Alliance participated in the Hunger Action Network press conference held the morning of November 24, 2009 at St. Thomas Episcopal Church, Mamaroneck, NY. Five local agencies were present to speak about the rising number of families who are struggling to put food on the table. An emergency food pantry was open to the public.
In WHA’s own experience with assisting families in need, we see day laborer applicants for rent assistance who have no money for food. They depend solely on local food pantry and soup kitchen for all nutritional needs. Families receiving food stamps do not receive enough for adequate nutrition: one family of seven receives $282.00 a month. People receiving unemployment do not qualify for food stamps because they are over the income limit. Many clients in this situation find that they have to choose between paying for prescriptions or paying for food.
For more information on our services, please contact us at infoATwashingtonvilleDOTorg.
The Washingtonville Housing Alliance, based in Mamaroneck, NY, was recently awarded a $2,200 grant by The United Way of Westchester and Putnam to support WHA’s Housing Crisis Fund.
Executive Director Jeremy Ingpen said “the Housing Crisis Fund provides one-time emergency housing financial assistance for Mamaroneck area residents facing economic hardship or loss of housing due to fire, flood, illness, job loss or family breakdown. In any given month we see two to three new clients and make an average of two grants to help households in dire economic straits and at risk of eviction.
At this time of widespread job losses and foreclosures the Housing Crisis Fund is of vital importance to the Mamaroneck community and United Way’s support will help us maintain a healthy fund balance”.
For more information please call the Washingtonville Housing Alliance 914- 698-4299 or visit our office at 136 Library Lane, Mamaroneck, NY 10543
FUNDING NEWS FROM WASHINGTONVILLE HOUSING ALLIANCE HOUSING ASSISTANCE PROGRAMS
Hudson City Savings Charitable Foundation has announced a $5000 grant to Washingtonville Housing Alliance to support WHA’s affordable housing and community development programs. These funds will be used to support WHA’s Senior Home Repair program, which makes loans and grants for emergency home repairs to low and moderate income senior citizen home owners.
Senator Suzi Oppenheimer has announced a $4000 legislative grant to support the program costs of WHA’s Tenant Eviction Program. The tenant eviction program provides one time back rent and downpayment assistance to eligible families in the Larchmont-Mamaroneck Area.
The Larchmont-Mamaroneck Summit has announced a $5000 grant to support WHA’s Housing Crisis Fund, with a specific target of providing back rent and emergency accommodation assistance to families where the primary wage earner is a day laborer. Twenty percent of the families seeking emergency rental assistance from WHA are dependent on day laborer income.
The Junior League of Westchester on the Sound has announced a $500 grant to support WHA’s Housing Crisis Fund.
The Westchester County Department of Planning has announced the renewal of WHA’s Emergency Shelter Grant (ESG) for FY 2008 in the amount of $8,800 for tenant assistance grant and program operating costs.
Executive Director, Jeremy N. Ingpen thanks these funders for their vital support for WHA’s housing programs.
For more information contact Jeremy N. Ingpen at 914-698-4299.