New Paltz: Joel & Marlene Alfieri

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Dear Governor Cuomo,

When my husband Joel and I moved to New Paltz 11 years ago to be closer to our daughter and her family, we had a hard time finding a rental in our budget.

I started developing vision issues in 2000 and was unable to work from then on. My husband Joel retired at 65 after having knee surgery, and neither of us were provided 401K plans or pensions through our employers.

We rely solely on Social Security for monthly income so when we moved it was hard to rent within our budget, but we really wanted a place of our own.

After searching for a while, we found a great house for us in a manufactured home community on the west side of town. It was a perfect setup for us –– we could own our home and just rent the land that it sits on.

A house in a manufactured home community has been a wonderful option for us. We have a tight-knit community, our home is on one level so it’s easy for my husband and I to move around, and we get to tend to our yard in the warmer months.

It hasn’t all been sunshine and roses, though. While our home continues to depreciate due to the stigma of owning a manufactured home, we still have to deal with all the other payments we have that make our house a home, including utilities and garbage disposal –– none of which is included in the rent for our lot. We’re on a fixed income so it’s hard for us to get by month after month.

Governor Cuomo, we need real rental solutions for people on fixed incomes, people with disabilities, and families who rent month-to-month in manufactured home communities.

How are families across the state expected to make ends meet when housing costs are chewing up so much of people’s take home pay?

Hear us out, Governor: protect vulnerable tenants today with stronger rent protections and affordable housing.

With the utmost sincerity,

Marlene and Joel Alfieri
New Paltz, New York