A Band-Aid - 27 East


Southampton Press / Opinion / Letters / 1987156

A Band-Aid

I know affordable housing is a crisis and originally thought the Community Housing Fund would help. Then the misgivings snuck in. The CHF and the Community Preservation Fund will include diametrically opposed goals: land preservation, water quality and financing housing. Jay Schneiderman has correctly stated that housing is made more expensive as land is withdrawn from the market.

The lady from Sagaponack, a farmer by heritage or trade, I guess, asked how can we have these massive houses surrounding our fields while her daughter cannot afford a house [“Second Housing Hearing In Southampton Elicits Support,” 27east.com, June 29]. An article in Bloomberg on the state of the Hamptons housing market gives the clear answer.

A Douglas Elliman rep states that the market is driven by buyers of second homes, which may be more expensive than their first homes. The buyers could pay cash but choose to use mortgages, which are easily available to them (first principle of the wealthy: never touch the principal). Two percent rates are mentioned. Combine this with exclusionary zoning and lax zoning appeals processes, and there you have the real reason for the housing crisis on the East End.

None of it will be solved by the tax. It puts a Band-Aid on a septic system. Developers who don’t need help to begin with will get assistance to build in the unincorporated parts of town. Density will increase in the unincorporated township. A small number of people will get help buying homes.

Not much at all will change until the banks change their attitude and their business practices that force people into either homelessness or a lifetime of indentured servitude to pay for a basic necessity.

Amy Paradise

Hampton Bays