East Hampton school board weighing affordable housing developments

Previous attempt to bring units to Wainscott rejected

Tri-State /
Dec.December 14, 2021 04:20 PM

J.P. Foster, president, East Hampton Board of Education, in front of 782 Route 114 in Wainscott, East Hampton (Out East, East Hampton Board of Education, iStock)

The East Hampton Board of Education wants to see the town take another shot at adding more affordable housing to the area.

The school board last week proposed the possibility of reviving a couple of affordable housing development plans from recent years, 27east reported. One was for a 49-unit complex on 40 acres of land, while another was for The Cottages at 782 Route 114.

The Sag Harbor Community Housing Trust was in contract to buy The Cottages in 2014, but has struggled since to come up with the necessary funding to redevelop the 2-acre parcel and the eight buildings it has. The trust says its grant application for $1 million in funding was rejected in 2018.

“It’s a great location,” Board of Education president J.P. Foster said in a Dec. 8 board meeting, per 27east. “But I do think things need to be spread out a little bit.”

The board’s involvement stems from its struggle to hire and retain teachers who can’t find affordable housing in the area.

Board member Jackie Lowey also proposed erecting a housing committee, which would be comprised of representatives from different school districts who will consult on policies, 27east reported.

The proposal for affordable housing along Stephen Hands Path in Wainscott is not the only one being considered in East Hampton.

Last month, the East Hampton Town Board began discussions about a zoning overlay for a property it purchased in 2019 for an affordable development. The town purchased the 6.4-acre site on Route 114 for about $1.8 million, which includes the former home of the Triune Baptist Church and a neighboring property.

Town officials are aiming to add either 26 apartments of 13 homes to the site. However, concerns related to the local septic system have put the affordable housing efforts into question.

The Hamptons’ struggles with affordable housing came to a head this summer, when restaurants and retailers told The New York Times they struggled to find workers this summer because of a lack of affordable residences in the East End.

[27east] — Holden Walter-Warner





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