Competing for Younger Residents

Housing helps us compete for the future.
Housing helps us compete for the future.

This article in the Times highlights both a challenge and an opportunity for our region.  Like other suburban counties, Westchester has been losing population in the 25-44 age range.  That’s a problem for all of us, because younger professionals are vital to attracting jobs, supporting our housing market, and encouraging cultural vitality.

The good news is that some suburban communities, including New Rochelle, already have qualities that are attractive to prospective younger residents, such as demographic diversity and easy access to New York City.  The even better news is that we can take specific steps to be more attractive – by broadening our housing choices, improving transportation options, emphasizing the arts, and promoting environmental sustainability.

There’s often debate in town about the value of transit-oriented development, particularly rental housing, and I certainly wouldn’t argue that every housing initiative deserves support.  But the pros and cons of any specific project should be viewed in the context of regional competition for a vital cohort of residents and workers that are important to our future.