It is counterintuitive to think that land preservation, water quality and the financing of housing all can be accomplished using the Community Preservation Fund model?
On November 8, the voters of Southampton Town will decide the fate of the Community Housing Fund. I am uncertain how providing more housing will improve land preservation and water quality. Although, on the surface, affordable housing is a noble concept, I believe the Town Board would prefer the voters not dig too deeply into the issue.
There appears to be no cost benefit analysis of the project. The town’s proposal is merely a framework, lacking how approval will impact individual communities throughout Southampton Town. Development and increased density will occur, for example, in hamlets like Hampton Bays and East Quogue.
The chief selling point is that the children and grandchildren of Southampton Town residents will be able to afford to remain in their hometowns. Unfortunately, little mention is made that these programs are open to anyone in the United States. Local people have no guarantees of securing affordable housing. As more housing is built or renovated, the trade parade will only worsen, bringing our roads to a standstill twice a day.
Claims that residents in workforce housing will swell the ranks of volunteers in local fire departments and ambulance companies is not guaranteed. It is simply another element in their advertising pitch.
In reality, how affordable will the housing be? Is it worth the increase in school taxes, density and development that will destroy more open space and potentially harm our drinking water?
Glossy pictures of attractive housing do not answer the real questions facing our town in November. Hopefully, our voters will demand answers and reflect before deciding on affordable housing.
One fine body…