Roundtop Development to Offer Affordable Housing in Montrose

A 92-unit development under construction in Montrose will help fulfill requirements of Westchester County's settlement with HUD.

Bulldozers, dump trucks and excavators are knocking down trees, churning up soil and delivering heavy supplies to about 19 acres of land off of Route 9A in Montrose. If you live there, you have noticed.

The construction of a four-building affordable housing development named Roundtop next to the VA Hospital began in mid-February and is expected to be complete by the end of 2012. The development will feature 92 one- and two-bedroom units (46 units of each size), offered only to households with incomes no higher than 60 percent of the area median household income.

The project by Wilder Balter Partners was first brought to the Town of Cortlandt Planning Board by a different owner in 1993. It helps fulfill part of Westchester County’s Affordable housing requirements, created by (HUD) agency following a 2006 lawsuit by the Anti-Discrimination Center, a New York City-based advocacy group.

It is across the street from the Cortlandt Train Station, on a Bee-line bus route and within walking distance from (Hendrick Hudson) High School, said Bill Balter, co-manager of Wilder Balter Developers. “It is a well located development for any kind of housing.”

Balter, a well-known Westchester County developer who also built and owns the senior living community Woodcrest at Jacobs Hill development in Cortlandt, expects local residents to line up for the new apartments.

“We have more than 200 people waiting for Jacobs Hill. There are going to be way more people who will want the units (at Roundtop) than the number of units available,” Balter said.

Median household income (sixty percent of that is $57,723). Rent at Roundtop will range between $975 for a one-bedroom and $1200 for a two-bedroom unit, respectively, Balter said.

There will be two separate waiting lists, one for 83 apartments that the county approved for financing, and another for eight apartments approved by the Town of Cortlandt before the county got involved, which means that Cortlandt residents get preference for those eight units.

Balter is building a similar project in Larchmont that offers units for sale, rather than for rent, to households whose income is no more than 80 percent of the area’s median.

Twenty towns and cities throughout Westchester are affected by the fair housing settlement, including Yorktown, Rye, Pleasantville, Dobbs Ferry and others.

Roundtop was not always meant to be an affordable housing development. Plans to develop the land in Montrose first went to the town Planning Board in 1993 when Rocco Triglia owned the project, said Town Planning Director Chris Keyhoe. Triglia’s then five-building project was finally approved in 2008, but he never moved forward with construction.

In 2010 Balter found the development and went to the county for funding to make it an affordable housing project, helping to fulfill the settlement requirements. The county took ownership of the project, put the affordability restrictions on it and sold to Balter to develop.

Before the HUD settlement, local municipalities had the power to decide if and where affordable housing would be built and located, but now localities have no say and the county’s decisions supersede any objections Cortlandt may have.

“I am a supporter of affordable housing within reason, a mix,” said Town Supervisor Linda Puglisi in an interview earlier this year. “(This project) is not preferable because it is too dense, because of traffic issues and it is not equitable because the distribution of the housing settlement should be distributed throughout the entire county and not in one locale.”

Cortlandt offers affordable housing opportunities in its Jacobs Hill, Springvale and Amberlands apartment developments, Puglisi said.  

“We are not doing anything different than what was approved by the planning board,” Balter said. The planning board was reviewing the project's environmental impact throughout the 1990s when Triglia owned the project. When the project was finally approved in 2008 the planning board did not require any traffic improvements, Keyhoe said. That approval carried over to Balter. “It impacts no more than what was approved,” Balter said.

While the 83 Roundtop units count towards the county’s proposed 750 units, there are still issues in the fair-housing case to be resolved.

HUD announced in December that it is still not satisfied with the county’s plans to fulfill the requirements of the settlement. The plan was submitted in July 2010 and was the county’s third attempt at satisfying the settlement requirements. The HUD appointed federal monitor overseeing the settlement, James E. Johnson, said the county's plan does not sufficiently recognize the barriers to fair housing and identify the specific actions the county will take to overcome them. HUD said the county needs help overcoming exclusionary zoning practices by some municipalities. Johnson has given Westchester County until April to submit a fourth attempt at a plan that the department finds acceptable.

County Executive Rob Astorino’s Communications Director and Senior Advisor Ned McCormack issued a statement following HUD’s announcement in December: “Putting the Analysis of Impediments together is an iterative and collaborative process," McCormack said. "We've been asked for revisions. We will review HUD's suggestions carefully and work with them to make revisions in time for the April 1 deadline."

If you are interested in being placed on a waiting list for the Roundtop at Montrose units you can contact the Housing Action Council at (914) 332-4144, which will be administering this project for the owner Wilder/Balter Properties, Inc.

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mike April 21, 2011 at 08:39 AM
Jay, they told nobody, it was piss on the middle class time. Get in touch with Astorino the County Exec, the Hud who is forcing Wrstchester to do this in afluent areas. I believe it had to be 10 percent minority.
Jay April 21, 2011 at 02:46 PM
Ok, so this all is all a result of a lawsuit brought together by an "Anti-Discrimination Center" that based on statistics states that Westchester is segregating minorities because of population numbers. Guess what? My wife and I - LATINO. We faced no discrimination at all looking for a home in Westchester. We had the salaries to pay for a mortgage and taxes. That's why people move AWAY from the city to the burbs. To have a better life away from - well, I'll say it - the PROJECTS, which is what this seems to be aiming to be. Springvale and Jacobs Hill, from my knowledge, are senior living apartments so really, they don't count. Reading what I can about this lawsuit from this group on their website is absolutely ludicrous. It's ENTITLEMENT at it's core definition and I really feel this is a slap to my face, purchasing a home that is *quite expensive* with its yearly taxes, and these people will come in with low income housing. The Metro North is crowded enough as it is in the morning, and will these people be taking taxis to go to A&P like people do in Peekskill to go to BJ's? I'm extremely upset.
Theresa April 21, 2011 at 05:14 PM
I live in the Bronx and a huge part of me is dying to get out of here (I'm in Morris Park which is still holding its own) and up north to this area. But then I see this and I just KNOW what is going to happen and it SCARES me. Anything that says "affordable housing" is a crock. We all know what is going to move in and we all know who is going to deal w/the brunt of it all and usual it will be the middle class taxpayers. I can see all the garbage from the Bronx, White Plains, Peekskill (we drove through there last July...OMG is all I will say on that one), etc. moving in and creating havoc. The "affordable housing" nonsense goes on w/out anyone ever being asked. I don't know if anyone is familiar w/the old horse stables on Pelham Parkway but guess what that is turning into? AFFORDABLE HOUSING! Bc this is the BEST we can do for an area of private homes of middle class folks which is why what few good parts of the Bronx are going to be ghettos in 5-10 years.
Theresa April 21, 2011 at 05:24 PM
Jay, I 100% get how you feel. My husband is also Hispanic (I'm white) and he's just FED UP w/it all. He is petrified of moving into suburbia and having exactly this happen which is why part of us will stay in the Bronx. We do not have children and are still on the fence about having them. It seems no matter where you go, the garbage follows. We cannot afford the better areas of Westchester like Ardsley or Scarsdale. And even some of the more affordable areas like New Rochelle and Yonkers leave a lot to be desired bc the schools are HORRIBLE and the taxes are out of control. No one cares about the middle class. We are pissed on day in and day out. The politicians DO NOT CARE. They have no reason to care. They live in their tony little towns-what does it matter to them if the middle class are going to have overcrowded schools filled w/ghetto garbage? I'm telling you, that is EXACTLY what this development is going to bring in. Then of course you have my favorites - the bleeding hearts who feel everyone deserves a chance. Yet none of these people ever lived outside their little bubble and they won't directly live w/this and their kids won't be subjected to going to school w/this. It's really a sad state of affairs when this garbage is continually thrown at the middle class and the answer is always the same "there's nothing we can do about it". And this is all bc some complained that they couldn't live in such-a-such area. Guess what? I can't live in Scarsdale!
mike April 21, 2011 at 06:09 PM
Theresa and Jay, I moved up to the area from Yonkers because ofthe schools. Yonkers at one time had good schools until some politician said we should allow the lower income families on the other side of town to have the chance of getting the same type of education. Well, they started bussing and then the schools went straight into the shitter and stayed there ever since. We bought our home and scraped up the money to move up to Hen Hud schools because of the good rating. Also, we moved there because we couldn't afford the taxes in Croton. Well, once they have to start expanding the schools to accomodate the overcrowding the taxes will go up. At that point I will not be able to afford it anymore. There is no way I am going to lose my house because some f____ing crooked politician thought I should pay for these people to move out of the projects. I will fight it to no end. And then my kids will be going to the same type of school as Yonkers. I should have stayed there. This is absolute bullshit.
Jay April 21, 2011 at 06:34 PM
Hi Theresa... I'm actually from the Pelham PKWY section and still own a co-op there (trying to sell) - i'm very familiar with Morris Park! I kinda wish I was living over there - great bakeries, great pizza! My cat's vet is right there, and the manhattan buses go through there as well.
mike May 18, 2011 at 10:45 AM
Liz, nice to finally meet the face of the article. I still stand ny what I say, they do not meet any of the criteria, and the planned site was originally for the reverse amount of low income house(total of 8). I put an e-mail out to the HUD on thos issue, and to Rob Astorino who is screwing us. Mark my words, our school taxes will go up substantially to take care of the over crowding. It happened to me in Sleepy Hollow. Totally not fair.
TIM June 17, 2011 at 05:57 PM
Lets have a day of outrage and protest! It will have to be on the weekend because I am working 12 hours per day Monday through Friday in order to afford living in the area. We can get some cappuccinos, make some clever signs then resign ourselves to the fact that our local politicians have screwed us once again. We should be working toward the goal of getting these people out of office.
Shar July 27, 2011 at 03:55 PM
Rift raft coming into our area...we will be hearing about home invasions and how a family of 5 was murdered no doubt. This cannot happen...Hud is despicable
Sky July 30, 2011 at 04:36 PM
This is truly outrageous!
Shar July 30, 2011 at 06:26 PM
It is all Obama's fault...the man hates the rich...however we in Montrose are far from being rich...So why are they building here?
Earl July 31, 2011 at 01:02 PM
Why should home invasions, drug wars , gangs, drive-by's and murders be just in the bad neighborhoods? We have to spread the wealth- it's the liberal thing to do
viv August 06, 2011 at 02:52 AM
HI everybody I know how all of you feel, I live in Montrose, I moved to the town 7 years ago and I loved it since then. I'm a single mother of two, full time worker and student with my major in accounting, working so hard to give my kids a better future, unfortunately I can't not afford to buy a house yet. I am hispanic, I pay taxes,, never as for any type of government help, sucking everything alone and so proud of it. I would love to have these buildings in town, for me to save money to buy a house, because I'm still a low income household, but my concern is your concern. This project as I went ot the meeting for eligibility,everybody can apply, from everywhere, race, color or ethnicity, section 8 and beyond, this make me think that this building will be full of trashy people, who lives on welfare and drive mercedes and smoke weed and get drunk, to bad for the community, for our community. They SHOULD run criminal records, have set standards of who of these low income families would be eligible. It cannot bring people who deteriorate our beautiful town. There is a lot a people like me, honest reliable and hard workers who deserve the chance to get an affordable house in order to invest later on in this town. I do know if you get my point, but to a certain point I share your concern, one of the things I love from this community is the school system, that will be downgraded. ,
jim t August 06, 2011 at 03:01 AM
As i told you all last week, there went our credit rating! DOWNGRADED TO AA+ !!!! Thanks a lot Nan Hay-worthless. You voted this in. Swell job there. Nice to see you following your CAMPAIGN PROMISE! A FAKE TEA PARTIER! Ever read your own Bio? Nothing like looking out for our country and its future over your political career and hob nobbing in washington. Incompetent! Another highfalutin "i'm better than you are" Dr. with no real interest in getting anything done. Does everyone really know that we're only cutting 2.5 trillion over the next ten years from the DISCRETIONARY BUDGET (thats only if they come up with 1.5 trillion in cuts in the "super committee" and that aint happining), AND WE WILL BE ADDING ANOTHER 8 plus TRILLION IN DEFICIET SPENDING TO OUR NATIONAL DEBT DURING THAT SAME TIME? NO, REALLY THIS IS NO JOKE. JUST FACTS. GET THE FACTS PEOPLE!GET THE FACTS!
Maria Coles September 01, 2011 at 08:37 PM
WOW!!! I read almost everyone comments and just to let you all know not everyone that has section 8, welfare, lives in low-income & affordable housing are GHETTO!!. I live in Yonkers currently, raised 2 beautiful children 1 is a teacher and the other is attending Westconn college. I live in affordable housing my dad is a retired surgeon my mom a retired LPN, I guess because I live in affordable housing I am GHETTO?. I am far from being or having the mind set of being ghetto. I am a very intelligent Trinidadian woman that does a lot in my community. My heart hurt as I read how people are defying african american, hispanics, mexicans etc. as THOSE PEOPLE. I guess if you needed a blood transfusion to save your life or your child's life you would say I don't want blood from THOSE PEOPLE? You know you say all these insane comments about going to HUD, writing the politicans, westchester cty offiicials are corrupted but you are ones still voting them into office. Sit back and take a good look at yourselves and the things that are said on the comment blog; who's really acting GHETTO!!! GOD created the HEAVEN & EARTH not MAN we are just visitors. FOOD FOR THOUGHT.... When you are dying will you be able to fit/put your houses, properties, monies, cars whatever in your coffin and take it with you so, THOSE PEOPLE won't have it. Yes, I have applied for housing at Roundtop Commons and pray that I get approved, so that I can bring great knowledge too your community.
jackie September 22, 2011 at 02:30 AM
I love what you said Maria. I myself have section 8 and I am a single parent, go to school ,and work . The reason I'm on the program is to better my life as well as the life of my daughter's until I get my bachelors . And for everyone to sit there and judge people they don't even know is disgusting. Ill have you know not all people on these kinda of programs are all black or hispanic, as a matter of fact I'm very much caucasian! I believe I have equal rights just like everyone else and to sit and stereotype is disgraceful. However I do believe in doing a mandated back round checks as well as drug testing to weed out the bad seeds. Maybe then it would make everyone a little less hostile and dislodge the stick out of some asses. Hell it would better my chances! Lets face it; everyone has to pay taxes just as you and I. Maybe we should really be more concerned with is illegal immigrants and them taking all the jobs and not having to paying taxes at all. food for thought. LOL I for one will be applying for round top and pray to even get in the door so I can continue to work my ass off and better the life of my daughter and I.
Maria Coles March 02, 2012 at 05:43 PM
You tell them Jackie!!! SEE YOU AT ROUNDTOP COMMON!!!
Mary March 04, 2012 at 08:09 PM
Reading all the comments I also felt a lot of ignorance from home owners in the area. I understand frustration but I also know frustration coming from the other end. I am a young adult, I work every night and go to school every morning and just for the record I pay my taxes every year. Not having the support of parents for years has been a struggle and with a recent pregnancy due to lack of available healthcare it has been even harder. I'm not a minority but even if I was treatment should be the same. Westchester is known for being a better off county and now that people are realizing not everyone living here is blessed with fully paid college tuition and parents who actually own their homes to fall back on, people are feeling threatened? Maybe taxes are not going where everyone would prefer but I know that I am still just starting out and working very hard and still find it next to impossible to get on my feet and I am relieved to know my taxes are actually helping me and people like me. I think before you start going off on a million reasons why we should cut back on low-income housing you should find out exactly the kind of people its helping. I am currently enrolled in a nursing program and sacrificing a lot for it and if there were not places like this available for me to live I wouldn't get this opportunity. Who knows, I could be a nurse who helps save one of your lives in the future. It's just something to think about..
MMO March 09, 2012 at 09:03 PM
I happened upon this page because I AM moving and got approved (with some help) to move into Roundtops. I move in April 1st. Some are moving in earlier but because I'M on a program called Section 8 I see things like this it gets me livid. And no I don't slum it I have a decent job and still pay my taxes. I'm a single mother of a daughter IN this school system already. It WASN'T easy getting in. I needed a co-signer and that's the only reason I got in. I've heard so many were rejected which pains me because this was geared towards low income households. This could have been me and I would still be looking. I know there are SOME that abuse programs and low income places, but not all are like this. I'm so happy to see some on the board are in the same boat I'm in. Working and using these programs for aid and not abusing them. I remember living in Patricia Gardens years ago and some there were abusing the programs and driving some very expensive cars. I am also very Caucasian and when I needed more assistance I would leave DSS very upset I couldn't get any help and would struggle along...BUT I made it. I would love to be a homeowner, but not now. Yes, I don't know everything there is to know about my taxes and how that affects other tax payers. But I do know this, I pay my taxes every year and work hard and I'm so fortunate I got in. Good luck to those trying, it is hard. JUST a FYI these units are offered FIRST to those in the area!
FB March 27, 2012 at 02:56 AM
To all the low incomers upset with the comments. You chose men that were losers and became impregnated by them, despite the fact you had no resources to take care of your kid on your own. For some reason you think society should take pity on you and build low income housing to accommodate loser single parents and their kid.
MMO March 27, 2012 at 03:33 AM
WOW FB you are rather judgmental. Who are you to judge what happened in each single parents situation? You know absolutely nothing of each of those who are single parents - fathers or mothers. So the woman who became a widow is at fault because she is now a single mother? The man who lost his wife/girlfriend/partner is left to take care of their child alone is at fault too? WOW and I digress further...The woman who thought she met a man who showed his truer colors later in life is at fault because they had a kid? We don't think society should take pity on us. NOT everything is black and white. Things change, people change. We definitely don't look for pity. This world isn't getting any cheaper. Some work three jobs to provide for their families and some don't. So what if some get that extra help when they need it. Incredibly supercilious of you. That comment was totally uncalled for and singling single parents out and calling them losers?!!! Who made you judge and jury? Abso-freaking-lutely no-one, that's who. UGH!!
KTD April 26, 2012 at 05:04 PM
Hi MMO, I applied to get an apartment in Rountop. I am a single mother with a 2 year old son. I am full time employed and attend school. An apartment in Roundtop would suit my son and I perfectly. I recently found out about it through a friend and sent in my application two days ago. I called and they said there is no waiting list. I am on a time crunch so I need to move as soon as possible. Can you tell me how soon were you contacted after sending in your application? And what were the qualifications? Thank you so much. And Congradulations on getting your new apartment. Programs like this are so beneficial to people like me and you who are trying to get ahead in life but need a little help getting there. I want to own my own home and own my own business too. And I will get there especially if I can get into one of these apartments. I am truly happy for you and I hope to be your neighbor soon.
MMO April 26, 2012 at 05:34 PM
Hi KTD, I didn't see a reply button, so I will hope you get this. I filled out my application at the beginning of November & mailed it right away. I also wrote an email to the Housing Authority that was handling the applications for Roundtop to make sure they had my application & was I on the waiting list. This was back in December. I knew they were going through over 500 applicants. I didn't think I'd get a call at all...but I misunderstood Town of Cortlandt residents, worshipers, veterans were first called. As they got closer to finishing Building 1 they started to call people to finish the application. February I got my first call. I finished the entire process by the end of March & moved on April 1st. They then start on the Lottery list after going through locals first. Looks like they may have gone through all the two bedroom applicants & it appears only 10 more are needed to be filled. Probably why there is no waiting list any longer. Your credit needs to be good, otherwise you will need a co-signer at least for the 1st year. There is more paperwork you need to fill out after they call you. Banking verification's is something you have to get filled. After you pass the credit check then proceed & pay the security agreed upon for your income level. I don't know how it is for those not on Section 8, but had to do Section 8's moving pack before the 15th in addition to Roundtop's paperwork. Section 8 then did an inspection. Then moved in. Good luck & Thanks!
MMO April 26, 2012 at 05:49 PM
KTD - Also hope to see you too! It's not that bad, just pass credit check and do necessary paperwork. Make sure you have the security then everything is easy after that! The closets are amazing!!!!! I love it! I agree KTD I'd love to have my own home...but right now I can't. Someday! I know there are tons of programs that help first time buyers with the process and the things you need to know when getting a home, but I'm with you. I will wait rather than plunge go into foreclosure because I couldn't handle home ownership then. I hate renting knowing it's not truly mine, but they are really nice apartments and a good start to someone looking for something affordable. Plus I find them really energy efficient too! They have laundry hookups in apts. but I use the laundry right in my building. The noise level isn't too bad either. I just wished some people didn't smoke outside the building. I'm an ex smoker & it just smells awful to me now. Oh well :) Can't wait until the whole area is done! I hear maybe a picnic area with tables? I hope I heard that right! Also you'd think construction noise would be loud...it's totally not! You can barely hear them through your apartment! Wonders if I can contact you directly...Will check that out. :)
KTD April 27, 2012 at 03:12 AM
Thank you so much for all of that helpful information. I really do appreciate it. Send me an email at jun3crush228@gmail.com. I don't want to put too much info on here. Lol. Thanks again.
bob merando May 27, 2012 at 02:48 AM
what security company patrols that site?
M M June 25, 2012 at 01:15 AM
Okay, first of all let's get one thing straight. There wont be any overcrowding of schools because there are less than 50 children who live here! Second, my wife and I live here, work for a nearby school district, and we pay taxes as well. Third our income puts us in the middle class as well! So next time before you decide to comment on something, make sure you get all the facts!
M M June 25, 2012 at 02:08 AM
Wow!! It never ceases to amaze me how ignorant people can be! Drive by's and home invasions.....really people?? Not everyone here is on section 8 and welfare. My wife and I dont know anyone who lives here, so I can only speak for us......We have jobs (decent ones at that). And for all those who may want to know, not that its any of your business.....but we didnt want to buy a house. We were getting older and we just didnt want the additional exspenses that home ownership would bring. So not everyone who lives at Roundtop Commons, is a criminal or came from projects in the city!!
Dorothea Poggi November 05, 2012 at 03:34 AM
Theresa check out facebook (Save Rusty-Bronx Horse) you may be interested in what is going on with the Stable...
jane November 10, 2012 at 02:28 AM
I find so many of these comments to be simply horrific. My parents moved to Yorktown 38 years ago, bought a home, paid taxes and put 3 kids through college. As they became older and did not need all the space they sold their home. They planned on having a nice nest egg and with pensions/401k have a great retirement. Unfortunately, due to an illness and the economic collapse in 2008 they found themselves in an undesirable situation. With this being said, they are now residents at Roundtop-along with many other elder people who find it hard to afford to reside in Westchester. To assume, it is full of uncivilized human is just pure ignorance. I find it quite ironic to hear all the uproar because while growing up in Yorktown, Hen Hud and Montrose were undesirable and did not compare to the surrounding areas. Before spewing your venomous words, you should look at your own yards and the rundown business splattered along Albany Post Road, as they are quite remnant of rural, dilapidated sections of the deep South. With that being said, the anger being shared is only causing to the larger issue of class warfare that is being fueled in our Nation. As you read the post you see that many are not mad at just the poor, but the rich too...Find happiness in your own life and fyi-the people in Scarsdale, Rye and Harrison probably wouldn't want you and your "middle-class" job as their neighbor either,not just the section 8 people. Harsh, to hear I am sure.


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