NORTH SALEM, N.Y. – It was standing-room-only at North Salem’s Ruth Keeler Library last week as more than 100 people crowded in to witness the first lottery drawing for residences in the Bridleside affordable housing complex.
Most of the applicants are Westchester residents, said Rose Noonan, director of the Housing Action Council, a non-profit organization working in conjunction with the developers, Wilder Balter.
In greetings to the audience, Supervisor Warren Lucas listed some of North Salem’s fine features: its open land, its numerous horses and farms, its parks, its extracurricular children’s sports, its summer camp and its excellent school system.
Though North Salem has very few businesses, he added, it does have two train stations, Croton Falls and Purdys, and it has a volunteer ambulance corps and volunteer fire department. “We hope you’ll get involved,” he said.
Noonan then explained the lottery parameters. “All applications that were received by June 20 are in the hatbox before me,” she said. There were 609 of them.
“Don’t be discouraged if you get a high number," she said. "Experience has shown that we have to go through hundreds of applications in order to fill 60 spaces. Applicants must meet very specific criteria. Even then, some people change their minds. Also, you have to be able to move in as soon as the apartments become available.”
The developers estimate a move-in date somewhere between October and December, 2013.
“You will receive a letter with your lottery number. We interview everyone personally. If we continue to receive applications, and there are still empty apartments, we’ll hold another drawing at that point. You can certainly re-apply if you didn’t make it this time.”
At last it was time to pull the first name from the hat, and the privilege was awarded to Lucas. It was not necessary for applicants to appear in person, and lottery winner number one was not among those present.
More than a dozen names were read before a winner was able to stand up, march forward, and accept everyone’s congratulations. The audience broke into cheers.