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TODAY'S PAPER

Affordability crisis for home buyers

Median house prices rose to $540,000 in Nassau County in July, and to $390,000 in Suffolk, the Multiple Listing Service reported. / Getty Images / iStock / Andrey Popov

The statistics about home prices are alarming [“Price tags for homes in fast lane,” News, Aug. 19].

In Suffolk County, new buyers will spend 56 percent of their average wages on a median-priced home, nearly double what the Department of Housing and Urban Development recommends. Additionally, young adults have seen a 22 percent drop in wages since 1970, hindering their ability to achieve the upward mobility possible in their parents’ generation. Long Island is not facing an affordability gap; it is facing an affordability crisis.

Every year, Long Island loses $700 million in spending by young adults who cannot afford to live independently. That’s in addition to the millions of dollars we lose in educational investment from a very real brain drain. Municipalities must allow for larger rental buildings near downtown train stations to make affordably priced units possible. Industrial development agencies need to pass policies that incentivize affordable housing and reform archaic regulations.

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The old ways will not do. If we want to see a Levittown 2.0, where young families build a better Long Island, the solution is clear: Adopt zoning and incentive policies that will encourage affordable development. More affordable housing is the key.

Matthew T. McDonough, Babylon

Editor’s Note: The writer is chief executive of the Town of Babylon Industrial Development Agency.

Trump won right to nominate justices

Opinions page writer Tom Nichols identifies himself as both a Republican and a conservative [“Kavanaugh confirmation must wait,” Aug. 24]. However, after reading his op-ed, I came away thinking he is either a closet liberal or a Republican in name only. How else to explain his logic?

Why would the Republican Party have to wait until after November to have a hearing on the president’s pick for the Supreme Court? Because voters should have the opportunity to have their say? Sorry, pal; voters already had their say and they elected Donald Trump.

That gives him the right to pick this Supreme Court nominee and any others during his presidency. Until he is no longer president, I don’t care what accusations someone who was just convicted of multiple crimes leveled. Convicted people would sell out their mothers if it would get them lesser sentences. Talk is cheap, show me the evidence.

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But we do agree on one thing: I also believe that the Republicans should have at least had a hearing on Judge Merrick Garland. I don’t think he would have gotten out of committee, but at least they would have shown the former president that they gave him a chance.

Bret Wallach, Glen Cove

I oppose the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court because I don’t want to see a “swing justice,” Anthony Kennedy, replaced by a justice whom I expect to be doctrinaire on one side.

However, I want to dissociate myself from the opposition of Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.), who said that those who support Kavanaugh’s nomination are “complicit in the evil.” Our fractured society does not need Booker’s self-righteousness and divisiveness. He should read and absorb Barack Obama’s words upon being elected: “As Lincoln said to a nation far more divided than ours, ‘We are not enemies, but friends. Though passion may have strained, it must not break our bonds of affection.’ ”

Nathan Dodell, Great Neck

Your Aug. 23 news story “For young, buying on LI even tougher” is misleading. The inflation in home prices over the past 40 years is directly related to supply and demand, and just as important, to the household social changes we have chosen over that period.

The article correctly highlights the median inflation-adjusted home price differences between 1970 and 2017. What it does not do is correctly compare it with two incomes. Two-income households are now for the most part a necessity, versus a choice. The inflation in home prices is not surprising once you factor in that additional second household income.

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I do concede that even with two incomes, homeownership is slightly more difficult than 40 years ago, but not nearly to the extreme your article depicts. American society made a conscious choice in buying into the popular culture that dual-income, dual-career households made for a better quality of life. Did everyone really think corporate America was going to let us use that additional income for luxury, leisure and enjoyment? Corporate America (builders in this scenario) saw what people could afford and their prices have escalated accordingly.

John A. Cortopassi, Nesconset

Price of insulin is shameful

Insulin was discovered in 1921, almost 100 years ago [“Insulin prices soaring,” News, Aug. 24].

For me to give insulin to my diabetic cat costs almost $300 a vial. We are living in the era of generic medications, so why must I pay about $115,000 a gallon for something that is 100 years old? Shameful.

Tommy Gregoretti, Oceanside