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Letter: Define ‘affordable housing’ realistically

The Maestro, a 94-unit rental complex with 19

The Maestro, a 94-unit rental complex with 19 affordable housing units, at 255 Great Neck Rd. in Great Neck Plaza on May 30, 2014. Credit: Jeremy Bales

Kudos to Newsday for highlighting the disconnect between what is actually affordable for Long Island’s renters and what is being called “affordable” in county code [“$3,100-a-month rent isn’t ‘affordable housing,’ ” Editorial, Jan. 19].

The definition of affordability must be realistic across Nassau and Suffolk counties, along with the terms transit-oriented, smart growth and walkable. By defining these planning terms by standards that follow what their creators intended, we can ensure that our growth retains population in the region, increases transit use and is sustainable.

As Long Island’s developers, policymakers and stakeholders push to diversify housing stock with more multifamily mixed-use options, it’s critical that elected officials work with community leaders and residents to understand area needs, as well as the market. For too long, local development strategies have prioritized the vested interests of stakeholders, industry insiders and the politically connected.

Richard Murdocco, Syosset

Editor’s note: The writer blogs about Long Island land use at