Wandering in the Desert - 27 East


Southampton Press / Opinion / Letters / 2201904

Wandering in the Desert

I was very disappointed in The Press’s editorial last week concerning the U.S. Coast Guard housing issue [“Rare Opportunity,” September 14]. The Press’s editors have joined the lost group wandering in the affordable housing desert for 47 years and finally climbing Mount Piscah, like Moses did in the Bible, and spotting the affordable housing promised land, Coast Guard housing — except that for the 47 years they somehow missed seeing Hampton West next door (created 1976). Your editorial is an affront to the 175 families who live here.

You talk about “fears about slums to be abated”; well, if my memory is correct, your Hampton Chronicle sometime in the late 1970s or early 1980s described Hampton West as “a rural slum.” And so to actions taken by the town at that time, it was true. However, since then, the residents have turned that around and we are a solid working-middle class neighborhood.

You complain about “some grousing” about the details, and you continue the mantra about “doctors, teachers and other professionals” being squeezed out of the market. The town’s plan will not bring individuals at that income level into the development. No one will buy a house where equity will be denied despite the town’s glossy income standards.

And I’d like to point out to you, as a very cynical resident, that your newspaper relies upon the advertisement fees that those greedy investors contribute each week, with those full-page ads promoting multimillion-dollar homes.

You can check your letter archives and you will see this association, as far back as 2009, has repeatedly advocated that the solution is for owner-occupied housing by Southampton Town residents, perhaps by lottery, much like what the town did at Northern Sites in the late 1990s. I’m sure the town can find 52 deserving town residents. And, furthermore, no elected town official has reached out to us.

By the way, if I remember my Sunday school classes, Moses never made it to the promised land. God had some old scores to settle with Moses.

Forest Markowitz

Westhampton Beach