But what about millennials who already live in Port Chester? Is the Board of Trustees willing to just let us be pushed out? Because that’s what’s happening. We are really struggling to find housing that we can afford in this community and many of us are being forced to leave.

Take me, for instance. I would like to move out of my family’s house. But even though I work two jobs and attend college, I can’t find an apartment that I can afford in Port Chester. The new apartments that have been built here recently rent for $2,000 a month for just a studio!

Unfortunately, those prices are quickly becoming the new normal in Port Chester. For example, when Starwood estimated the revenue it would lose if it built workforce housing, it used the high rents at recent projects like The Mariner, Castle and 120 North Pearl Street for its calculations. Those projects charge ridiculously high rents and have no workforce housing. If Starwood is allowed to do the same thing, the next developer to come to Port Chester will have even more reason to believe that they don’t have to build apartments that working people can afford.

If the BOT wants to keep millennials like me in Port Chester, that’s a dangerous precedent to set.

Without housing we can afford, we have only two options: leave Port Chester, or squeeze into overcrowded homes like so many others. I’m in school now. Do you know how hard it is to study when you live in an overcrowded home? Or what it means to have to juggle two jobs, school, bills and look for somewhere to live? To have to possibly live in a room in some house or apartment where you share the kitchen and bathroom with several other strangers? Believe me, it’s not anything the Mayor and Trustees would want for their own children.

Young working people like me just want to be able to afford a small place to call our own. We don’t need big fancy houses or even luxury apartments. We just want a modest but clean and comfortable place to call home at night, one that is not overly crowded with multiple families.

That’s already far too difficult to find in Port Chester. But if we keep letting developers come into Port Chester, charge sky-high rents and refuse to build workforce housing, it’s going to be completely impossible.

That’s why the Sustainable Port Chester Alliance is urging the BOT to do the right thing, the compassionate and practical thing. We’re calling on the Board to require Starwood to build 146 units of workforce housing priced for people at various income levels and set preferences for Port Chester residents.

We have to keep Port Chester affordable for young people like me. It will be a shame if we let Port Chester become a place where only wealthy millennials from Connecticut can live.

Bryan Cruz
Port Chester