An Idea - 27 East


Southampton Press / Opinion / Letters / 2218392

An Idea

I was just reading a Letter to the Editor, “Great Opportunity” [November 23], and I’ve thought of an out-of-the-box idea that sort of piggybacks on Kara Bak’s statement that the “ideal approach is not to create new density but make better use of existing infrastructure,” and “if the town focuses on existing affordable housing opportunities over pricey full-scale developments.”

With that stated, our Hillcrest/Miller Road area is now one the “sweet spots” to buy an “affordable” house compared to the pricey million/billion-dollar housing market in the village/town.

Why not have the town buy up some homes/land available when they are up for sale in our community, like property recently being offered to the Community Preservation Fund to be purchased from a private owner? This could save a local homeowner who wants to sell to the town seller’s fees, etc., and affordable housing can be offered to hospital workers, bank tellers, maintenance and highway workers. You know, the real middle/low-income people who have families and are struggling to pay high rent instead of having the ultimate dream of homeownership.

I’ve been here long enough to see the changing in and around this surrounding neighborhood. OK, yes, I know it’s just not here, and I know most tenants are, I believe, good people, and not all the houses being bought up here in this community are being converted to “seasonal residential mini-mansions.”

Please take note, with the longevity of my residency here I’ve witnessed that a gated community can and has happened. That sweet spot was off Tuckahoe Road, where I used to take my daughter to her awesome babysitter, which at that time consisted of a “beloved community” but eventually was a “steal” to purchase houses/land and was converted to what exists now as a gated community. I recall that I was totally shocked and surprised to see that happen.

But, since, Pelletreau Street, Pulaski Street and Halsey Avenue (where I grew up), to name a few, followed suit as the next affordable sweet spots to the conversion of million-dollar mansions being built. And I know, to be fair, the argument might be: “So why didn’t those families keep their family houses?” That could be a whole session.

So, in closing, I clearly see the transformation in and all around this community as the writing on the wall of that rumor possibly becoming a reality: that this community could be a target for the same setup to also become a gated community. So why not buy some of the existing houses, with perhaps little to no renovations or repairs needed, and offer them to those hard-working people with families who deserve an opportunity too? Could be a great opportunity.

Brenda Simmons

Southampton Village