I had attended a forum put out by Blank Slate Media and Steve Blank, editor and publisher of its’ six north shore local papers on Thursday, Sept 26 @ the Unitarian Universalist Congregation in Manhasset.
Featured panelists were Jack Schirnman, Nassau County Controller, Dr. Jeffrey L. Reynolds, president and CEO of Family and children’s Association of Long Island; Michael F. Nagler, Superintendent of the Mineola Public Schools; and Kyle Strober, executive director for the Association for a Better Long Island.
The overall discussion was about the 2020 census (which occurs every ten years) and its impact on the monies that are provided to local governments, schools, for roads, local social programs and to be able to have an accurate account of all the inhabitants in Long Island, especially in Nassau County.
The additional conversation was provided about the impact of that 25 to 34-year-olds living at home in 2016 (44 percent, but nationally was 16 percent).
Also touched upon was their student debt and millennials being able to stay here on Long Island as well as information provided about the local economy.
Also (based on the handouts) in that same period, Baby Boomers accounted for seventy percent of homeowners, 60 percent were Gen X and thirty percent were Millennials.
It was disclosed that many, especially in the minority communities are undercounted in the census out of fears of those who are here illegally and possibly being extradited back to their country of origin. Information pamphlets were handed out with some very crucial and critical statistics about why Long Island is losing millions of dollars of aid from the federal government.
Here are the major reasons why we are losing valuable federal dollars and what we need to do in having a more accurate census:
1.) Verifying young children
2.) Highly mobile people
3.) Racial and ethnic minorities
4.) Non-English speakers
5.) Low-income Households
6.) People who are homeless
7.) Undocumented immigrants and families
8.) People who distrust the government
9.) People with mental/physical disabilities
The discussion also went through the many agencies that will be involved in providing an accurate census next year. There was a good amount of time spent delving into the major problems and solutions of keeping the millennial population on Long Island.
The younger panelists seemed to express whether they too could exist on Long Island in the future. What will happen with the future of businesses having an insufficient pool of educated employees as the millennials and generation Xers leave Long Island to other states and towns with better opportunities and a lower cost of living?
Even with the growing population of those living with their parents due to the high cost of housing and many with excessive student debt, where 67 percent have to postpone homeownership or even rentals.
But when they save enough money, there is the tendency to move away from Long Island to enable their money to go further in purchasing a homed and having a life! Baby Boomers, who are living longer and who continue to reside on Long Island, staying in their homes and not moving (or have a second home during the winter) have not been adding to housing inventory (which is still lower than the normal 6-7 months) as fast as they had in the past. However, this has kept prices on the lower end in a stronger position, due to demand. Prices don’t appear to be coming down over the next 3-5 years, (as was discussed in a previous column the other week; so the “brain drain” will continue on Long Island).
It appears that whatever rental housing that has been or is being constructed, which is much higher priced and is beyond the reach of many and are seeing the continuing erosion of what we use to call the “middle class.” Our middle class grew and had fueled our economy from World War II going forward.
However, we have seen more and more of our younger generation, who might be considered our “new middle class” is not necessarily going to being able to attain that status, due to their student debt, causing the lack of funds for a down payment and the high prices in purchasing their first home on Long Island.
Studies from The Office of Nassau County Comptroller Jack Schnirman, have shown that thirty-eight percent of student debt is held by individuals under thirty. This is a major dilemma for those who want to stay on Long Island and be able to afford to purchase a place to live. If a solution can be attained this would assist in those individuals being able to have a better opportunity to stay and live in Nassau County.
This will also add more potential employees for local companies as well as in other boroughs. In my opinion, it’s all about lowering the cost of newly constructed rental housing and making it affordable to compete with other states and towns. Somehow our local, state and federal governments need to brainstorm and devise new ways to enable local builders to provide the fifty thousand plus new housing units needed by 2030 (Office of the Nassau County Comptroller, Jack Schnirman, The Deal for the next generation policy and research unit August 2019) and at the same time be profitable.
Maybe a VAT tax (value added tax) similar to what they do in other countries (also placed on all internet sales), replacing our sales tax, enabling to lower our real estate taxes.
So those who spend the most would pay more. Only time will tell as to how we can solve our housing issues, while receiving the maximum dollars out of our census from the federal government and at the same time, to be able to keep as many of our up and coming generations from leaving Long Island.
Philip A. Raices is the owner/Broker of Turn Key Real Estate at 3 Grace Ave Suite 180 in Great Neck. He has earned designations as a Graduate of the Realtor Institute and also as a Certified International Property Specialist. For a consultation, he can be reached by Cell: (516) 647-4289 or by email: Phil@TurnKeyRealEstate.Com
to answer any of your questions or concerns.