Michael Tosto, a Yorktown native and resident of Bedford for the last six years, was unanimously approved by town board last week to take a seat on the a volunteer board tasked with creating affordable housing for local individuals and families.
After hearing of the approval, Tosto said he was looking forward to the new role.
"This would be my first experience in civics, however I've always been very interested in current events, politics, and our government and how its decisions affect us," said Tosto, who owns a real estate investment business.
He told the town board in an application letter that he has grown his business from from one three-family house to include eight buildings totaling 51 apartments through out Westchester County—an experience that would complement the housing group, which was created in 1980.
Blue Mountain also oversees the management and acquisition of properties and manages the housing eligibility process.
Tosto said he became interested in the position after a discussion with a town board member. "I loved the idea of being able to use my real estate background to contribute to the community. I felt that instead of being someone that complained about how things were done, I'd get involved in how they were done," he said.
With experience in purchasing and managing real estate, Tosto said he has a "very good idea" of current real estate values and rental prices, labor and material costs and the difficulties associated with managing real estate properties.
When asked his opinion on the Tosto said, "the farther away from 321 Bedford Rd. that the laws are derived, the less in touch the laws are with the people of the community."
consistent with federal guidelines imposed on Westchester to settle a discrimination lawsuit. Among the controversial provisions of the ordinance were an end to local preferences and a requirement to market the housing regionally.
"I have always felt governments are always best governed locally," Tosto added. "That empowers the individual more. Communities tend to address the needs of their citizens on their own, as seen by the creation of this housing board 30 years ago. The town of Bedford had to take the proactive measure with the settlement between the county and the federal government— I will to do my best to best serve the needs and concerns of the Bedford residents while adhering to the federal mandates imposed."