A New Path - 27 East


Southampton Press / Opinion / Letters / 2062931

A New Path

Congratulations to our four East End towns on the passage of the Peconic Bay Community Housing Fund. This clearly presents an opportunity to change the model for how affordable community housing is created throughout our towns, hamlets and villages in an equitable way.

The fund is projected to collect approximately $600 million between 2023 and 2050. With that comes great responsibility to use the funds in ways that will best benefit our greater communities and community members, while protecting our environment, natural beauty and seaside character.

Today, there is great need and demand for affordable and secure homes throughout the East End. We will be challenged to quickly solve a crisis that has evolved over many years. That demand may significantly exceed what the towns can create using the Community Housing Fund for the foreseeable future. Our human infrastructure is likely to continue to erode while conducting the necessary research and implementing the housing plans.

Existing, planned and additional affordable housing development, in Quiogue, Southampton, Sag Harbor, East Hampton, Riverhead and Greenport, will continue until the towns develop comprehensive plans on the quantifiable needs, establish highly considered priorities, and develop effective strategies to fund smaller-scale solutions for affordable community housing for teachers, first responders, health care workers, seniors and young people who have grown up here.

Each town will form a Community Housing Fund Advisory Committee to evaluate requests for Community Housing Fund revenues and make recommendations to the town boards on which requests to grant funds to. These committees should be made up of socially, economically and culturally diverse, full-time, year-round residents who understand and can speak to the needs of local residents.

Coordination with major stakeholders, including business groups, civic groups, the health care community, environmental groups, volunteer first responders, public safety, and representatives from our heritage industries of fishing, farming, tourism and the arts will be required to gain the support needed to address our community needs.

We’re grateful to be beginning the journey on this new path for our beloved East End that will help protect our cultural heritage for years to come.

Michael Daly

East End YIMBY