It’s a new day for two affordable housing projects in the Village of Hempstead, thanks in large part to a changing of the political guard.
Two projects planned at the corner of Main and Bedell streets were put on the agenda and given initial approval by Hempstead Town’s Industrial Development Agency late last month, Newsday reported. A public hearing for the projects is set for next week, after which a vote on payments in lieu of taxes can take place.
Their developers had for years clamored for tax incentives, without which they said the projects were not feasible, only to be stonewalled by former mayor Don Ryan, according to Newsday. That changed after Waylyn Hobbs Jr. was elected mayor last year.
The Carman Place project is being developed by a team of Conifer Realty and the Community Development Corp. of Long Island. It would include 228 units for households earning as little as $27,270 and more than 22,000 square feet of commercial space.
The Estella Housing project across the street is being developed by Georgica Green Ventures and Concern for Independent Living. The project would create 96 affordable units, including 30 with supportive services available. Half of those 30 units would be for veterans. Ralph Fasano of Concern said he hopes to break ground in September.
“My job is about not giving up,” Fasano told Newsday. “It’s the right thing to do and eventually, you find a way to do it, even when sometimes it takes elections to change things.”
The developers of both projects have been creating goodwill in the community, even without getting in front of the agency in charge of tax incentives. They’ve promised millions of dollars for water and sewer infrastructure. Conifer and Concern have also partnered on getting laptops to local students in need.
More projects could be coming to the Nassau County village, which is in the Town of Hempstead. Hobbs wants to address other needs in the area, including market-rate housing, offices and retail, according to Newsday.
[Newsday] — Holden Walter-Warner