A new program announced by officials in East Hampton Town is aimed at easing the area’s mounting affordable housing crisis.
Town officials announced an “All Hands on Housing” initiative at the beginning of the year, the Patch reported. The initiative will reportedly launch affordable housing developments to remedy the dearth of options in the area.
Town supervisor Peter Van Scoyoc cited East Hampton as having the highest cost of living on Long Island and highest poverty rate in Suffolk County, rendering the more than 600 affordable housing units insufficient.
“The dramatic rise in housing costs and declining inventory of year-round rental properties is threatening to unravel the fabric of our community,” Scoyoc said in a state of the town address, according to the Patch.
Town officials will take the lead on different affordable housing projects in an effort to divide and conquer.
Councilman David Lys is leading the creation of a series of single-family homes at 395 Pantigo Road, which the town recently purchased. The site stretches across 12 acres of land.
Councilwoman Cate Rogers is taking on the project on Route 114 that includes the former home of the Triune Baptist Church. The town purchased the relevant properties for about $1.8 million and have kicked off discussions about a zoning overlay to allow for affordable housing development.
Other town officials will look at more political solutions to the affordable housing project, such as assessing changes to the town code and Community Housing Opportunity Fund. Van Scoyoc will also oversee potential legislation related to an 0.5 percent real estate transfer tax to fund affordable housing, recently allowed under New York State law.
“I see the housing problem as one of the most serious and immediate threats to the well-being and sustainability of our community,” Van Scoyoc said.
[Patch] — Holden Walter-Warner