There seems to be some misunderstanding or confusion among some people with regard to the Community Housing Fund. Judging from recent Letters to the Editor, I see that some writers are conflating the conditions of this much needed idea to ease housing costs among our local community with the different requirements and conditions for Liberty Gardens in Southampton.
Because of federal subsidies at Liberty Gardens, qualifying residents can potentially come from anywhere if they meet the qualifying income standards. Because of these federal subsidies, it is not a precondition that a resident previously live or work in the Town of Southampton.
The location for Liberty Gardens is, by any standard, terrible, and can only serve to worsen traffic conditions on County Road 39. The property has been split, and the zoning allows this project to double in size from 60 units on 5 acres to 120 units on 10 acres. Liberty Gardens has the potential to severely overburden an existing traffic chokepoint and is a colossally misguided display of hubris for those who stand to benefit by the project financially.
This legal sleight-of-hand has served to poison the good intentions of the CHF.
The CHF has different conditions and is not subsidized by the federal government but is funded from within by revenues collected from sales of homes within Southampton Town. Residents of Southampton Town or people working in Southampton that are first-time house buyers will be eligible for the program. More information can be found on the Southampton.gov website.
Providing housing for people who work in the town will mitigate the “trade parade” commuter traffic of those trying to get to their jobs in the town. Our town has a distinct labor shortage, and we have a geographical chokepoint that is unavoidable. Something needs to be done.
The CHF should help ease the rush hour congestion while providing much needed workforce housing, as more and more of our young local residents leave the community because they can no longer afford to live here.
Vote yes for community housing.
One fine body…