It is with great interest that I read your recent article concerning the Community Housing Fund financing that had a number of quotes by Kara Bak of Southampton Town’s community housing program [“Community Housing Fund Plans Coming Into Focus at Southampton Town Hall,” 27east.com, November 13].
Ms. Bak says the “ideal approach is not to create new density but make better use of existing infrastructure.”
The story also notes that Ms. Bak has said it would be a better bang for the buck “if the town focuses on existing affordable housing opportunities over pricey full-scale developments.”
Well, Ms. Bak here we are, the Coast Guard section of the already affordable Hampton West Estates neighborhood. I actually attempted to replicate the amount of money that the fund has brought in since its inception (by using The Press’s weekly real estate transaction report), and I arrived at a number that was reasonably close to the one that Ms. Bak mentions.
If she is correct (and I think she is), it is possible that the fund, it might be accumulating $1 million per month as time goes on. That certainly would be an interesting new facet. And now that the auction/sale of the Coast Guard site has been delayed by the federal government over the issue of possible unexploded ordnance on the site, it seems that there is going to be an opportunity to accumulate more money, and it is entirely possible that the town can change its position on what it wants to do at the Coast Guard site.
For example, if the federal government continues at its glacial pace, it might allow the CHF to accumulate funds to purchase the site outright, and the town could replicate the lottery it did at Northern Sites (on the south side of Hampton West). This could be open to town residents only or vital service employees, as there would be no need for the town to have funding from the state or other social service organizations.
The town will have a revenue stream for the next 27 years, and perhaps it could come up with some creative funding for use today of future revenue.
This is something that the incoming new administration should consider.
One fine body…