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May 14, 2018 2:40 PMPublication: The East Hampton Press & The Southampton Press

State Awards East Hampton Funds For Affordable Housing Project

Elevations and planning for affordable housing at 531 Montauk Highway in Amagansett. COURTESY EAST HAMPTON HOUSING AUTHORITY
May 14, 2018 2:40 PM

The Town of East Hampton was recently awarded $7 million in New York State funding toward a 37-unit affordable housing complex for low-to-moderate income families and individuals. There are 12 one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments planned, plus one four-bedroom unit.

“We are essentially funded,” East Hampton Housing Authority Executive Director Catherine Casey said. “We have the resources to move forward, and when the state makes an award, we have to get it done in two years.”

Between state and U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development funding, $19 million has been allocated toward the project, trickling in over the next 10 years. The first year’s installment is $810,000. Additionally, Suffolk County has promised $1,128,000 million for infrastructure.

The state’s part was announced by Governor Andrew Cuomo’s office on Thursday, May 10, as one of four awards on Long Island totaling $25.6 million to create 239 affordable homes. Statewide, more than $200 million was awarded to build or preserve 2,800 affordable apartments.

“This investment is a significant milestone in New York’s $20 billion housing and homelessness plan, and a giant step forward in our efforts to increase access to homes for families, seniors and our most vulnerable men and women across the state,” Mr. Cuomo said in a statement about his five-year housing plan. “These resources will help the region build affordable, stronger, better neighborhoods for our residents for generations to come.”

East Hampton Town’s planned seven-building complex at 531 Montauk Highway in Amagansett includes a two-story common house with meeting space as well as a kitchenette, computer room and laundry facilities. There’s also a small shed for wastewater treatment. The state touts that the residents of the workforce housing will have access to good jobs and high-performing schools. The 4.6-acre parcel is situated between the Amagansett IGA supermarket and V&V Auto.

Fair market pricing for the units are listed at $1,527 monthly for a one-bedroom, $1,878 for a two-bedroom, $2,428 for a three-bedroom and $2,999 for a four-bedroom. Eight units will be reserved for residents who make less than 30 percent of the area’s median income. Other pricing options will be adjusted based on income and family size. Families are required to live there year round.

In December, the East Hampton Housing Authority agreed to give the Amagansett School District $25,000 annually as payment in lieu of property taxes. That dollar amount will increase 2 percent annually so that in 30 years the complex will be paying $45,000 to the district. The housing authority is tax-exempt by state law.

“We are somewhere in between purely government and the open market. We have to build something attractive in Amagansett. It has to be marketable. … To put the finances together, it’s very complicated—it’s always a patch work. We may have seven funding sources when it’s all said and done,” Ms. Casey said. “And now we can.”

The East Hampton Planning Board closed a two-week written comment period on the apartments after resound unanimous approval was reached at a public hearing May 2. The town’s Natural Resources Department is still allowed to weigh in on the complex’s sewage treatment plant.

The three other plans for affordable housing on Long Island that received funding were for seniors in Islip, homelessness in Port Jefferson Station, and low-income families and individuals in Southold.

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