Problem Not Solved - 27 East


Southampton Press / Opinion / Letters / 2045985

Problem Not Solved

Union Sushi & Steak does a tasty ramen and mouth-watering chocolate chip cookies. If you haven’t dined there give it a try.

The Express Sessions discussion of the Community Housing Fund held there on October 13 was civil and well-moderated. Having followed this issue for a while, not much new, except one item.

Curtis Highsmith answered the question, “Can people from outside the community apply for and get housing through this proposed program?” The answer is yes — but only a few people take advantage of it. Actual numbers show that 92 percent of community housing units go to local residents. He researched not only Southampton’s numbers but towns all over Long Island.

Personally, I have been, first, all for the affordable housing program, then against.

In one of its articles, The Express News Group applied the phrase “making housing attainable.” I can live with that thought, as it is more accurate.

The town saw a real problem, set a goal to solve it and, with the affordable housing initiative, it can attain that goal of helping people buy or rent housing. What it can’t do now, or ever, is actually make housing affordable. Its funding is tied to a volatile industry. It hopes that industry continues to grow, or else the funds diminish.

The tax clearly increases the cost of homeownership. It gets sold by not affecting people now. That is a built-in contradiction. How much can it accomplish on maybe $10 million a year?

From traffic studies, one number I saw was 3,000 cars coming through Canoe Place. Twenty or 30 units a year? Cram 3,000 more people out east? Do nothing, and perhaps free market capitalism knocks the system back into balance — enough people leave that the luxury housing market cools off for lack of services. Vote for this and, yes, some people will be helped.

Having come across people sleeping in their cars, having met several young people who live in cramped illegal apartments and heard the line, “He is my only friend who owns a home, because he inherited one — none of us ever will, I guess,” I will vote my heart not my head this time around. Just be aware, everyone: We really are not solving the affordability problem.

Amy Paradise

Hampton Bays