Advocating for millennial housing
Nassau County has continued to lose young residents, according to a 2018 demographic profile by County Comptroller Jack Schnirman. The report, which looked at ways to make the county more attractive to young people, highlights the need for transit-oriented developments, training options, and apprenticeship programs in manufacturing for non-college-bound young people and jobs for women entrepreneurs.
A panel of millennials who discussed the report at Molloy College, including the county’s youngest legislator, Josh Lafazan, pointed to some of the zoning barriers to affordable and mixed-use housing. Lafazan, 25, who says he still lives in his parents’ basement, emphasized the lack of attractive rental options. A nextLI survey found that 35 percent of the region’s 18- to 34-year-olds still live at home.
Kyle Strober, executive director of the Association for a Better Long Island, who also sat on the panel, said he wants to be able to walk around and not entirely rely on his car. The report sites public transit options, walkability, entertainment, affordability, connectivity and diversity as some of the key preferences for the next generation.
Marvin McMoore, Schnirman’s director of policy and strategic initiatives, encourages young people to attend these zoning meetings to bring about the change they want to see in their communities. “It’s expensive,” Schnirman said about building new public infrastructure to keep the next generation here, adding that “the cost of doing nothing will be much more expensive.”