Overcrowded homes cause outrage in East Hampton

July 02, 2012 03:30PM

It’s not all paradise among the million-dollar homes and celebrity renters in East Hampton. In the town’s Springs neighborhood, which is largely composed of year-round residents, neighbors are battling an increase in overcrowded homes, most of which are occupied by Hispanic day laborers, according to the New York Times.

Hispanic people have flocked to the area’s cheaper real estate in order to live closer to the service jobs — of trimming hedges and cleaning houses — that employ them in the town’s pricier enclaves. But longtime residents of the neighborhood complain the homes are being illegally crowded, which in turn overruns the streets with cars and overwhelms the school district with new students. They say the overcrowded homes are a blight on the neighborhood and the hoards of new children in schools raise property taxes.

“This is really about property values and the neighborhood,” said Carol Saxe Buda, who helped begin a group to combat overcrowding called Unoccupy Springs.

But the Times noted that, to some, the battle has taken on racial overtones. Many of the targeted homes are occupied by Hispanics, who made up 37 percent of the Springs population in the 2010 census after tripling in number over the previous decade. [NYT]