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WPCNR REALTY REALITY. From the Building & Realty Institute (Edited). March 29, 2022:

A privately commissioned study has found that there isn’t any data from recent large
multifamily developments in suburban Westchester communities to
substantiate the fears of a surge in student enrollment expressed by
local opponents of development.

The study maintains not only have these projects
been harmless to the districts, they have also brought
financial surpluses which have been to the benefit of
existing students and existing residents.

The Welcome Home Westchester campaign retained the firm
4ward Planning Inc. to conduct an analysis of what happened within
Westchester County suburban school districts both in terms of
enrollments and in terms of school taxes and school budgets when
large multifamily developments opened. The results were released today.

The study looked at multifamily developments of 100
units or more that were built in Westchester County towns and
villages within the past ten years.

Editor’s Note:

The study does not analyze multi-family projects in Westchester cities Yonkers, New Rochelle, Mount Vernon, White Plains and Peekskill where apartments are routinely over 100 units, according to the Executive Summary of the report.

Multi-Family Housing Development Impacts in Westchester County
Part One: School District Enrollment is available at

Speakers at Tuesday’s press conference included Timothy Foley of
the Building and Realty Institute (BRI), Todd J. Poole of 4Ward
Planning, and Anahaita Kotval of Lifting up Westchester.

“For most parents, there’s no more important investment than their
child’s education, and it’s no wonder that so often this becomes the
lens through which residents look at the question of housing needs
in their community. But as with so many other ghost stories and
fearful predictions about what would happen to a community
should they permit building the housing we need in Westchester,
there’s very little true math behind the prediction.

“Even worse,
there’s almost never an attempt by neighborhood defenders to run
an after-action analysis to learn which public hearing predictions
were true and which were false,” Timothy Foley, CEO of the
Building and Realty Institute (BRI) said.

“As every good math teacher will tell you, sometimes you have to
show your work to get the right answer. With the release of this
after-action analysis by 4Ward Planning, Inc., showing not what
might happen but what DID happen when multifamily housing was
built in our communities, we hope to start a new conversation
about how building the housing we need doesn’t just avoid harm to
school districts but provides a real financial boost to the benefit of
students, residents, and taxpayers.”

Key findings from the report include:

● These recent housing developments did not have a major
impact on school enrollment.
● In none of the multifamily residential projects with at least
100 units examined did children associated with the
project and enrolled in the local school district equal or
exceed one percent of the school’s total enrollment.
● In all cases, the projects generated a net positive financial
benefit to the school taxes, even after taking into account
the costs of educating enrolled school children living in
the multifamily housing.

“Housing and economic development are inextricably linked; and
where quality housing becomes challenging to find, local
employers will be challenged to retain and recruit talented workers.

Our study demonstrates that newly developed (and much needed)
multi-family rental housing in suburban areas of Westchester
County offers net positive fiscal benefits to school districts without
straining enrollment capacities,” Todd J. Poole of 4Ward Planning
“There have been a number of studies across the country
demonstrating that multifamily housing developments do NOT
create financial or capacity burdens on local school systems.
However, the BRI/Welcome Home Westchester study is particularly
meaningful as it focused specifically on the effects of recent
multifamily developments in Westchester – and confirmed that
there has been no negative impact on our schools from such
developments. As a result, one of the key concerns raised by those
opposed to multifamily housing has been conclusively addressed,”
Anahaita Kotval of Lifting Up Westchester said.

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