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Letter: 'Experts' on affordable housing

In response to "Website on affordable housing launched" [News, May 14], affordable housing on Long Island is a serious problem. The fact is, we need 41,429 more units to meet the growing demand. Our answers shouldn't be found by developers and housing advocates. Allowing stakeholders to lead the conversation has resulted in patchwork policy solutions that have questionable effectiveness.

This is the equivalent of putting a Texas oil baron in charge of our alternative energy policy, or having executives from Ford, Chrysler and GM in charge of crafting alternative transit options. Yes, they are experts, but are they the experts we want, considering the task at hand?

The Long Island Regional Planning Council website lists housing advocates and builders as experts, and I'm sure they know their fields very well. However, where are the environmentalists, the transit advocates and the economists? Where are the scientists, hydrogeologists and engineers? Give them a seat at the table as well.

Sound planning is driven by public input, and guided by scientific data. Long-range planning should not be driven by special interests and stakeholders.

Rich Murdocco, Setauket

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