The mood was upbeat, as dozens of would-be homeowners filled the auditorium at Southampton Town Hall last Thursday. Members of the town board, Town Clerk Sundy Schermeyer, and representatives from the Southampton Business Alliance were on hand, taking turns pulling numbers from a huge gold, Bingo-like drum. It was filled with numbers that determined applicants’ chances in a housing lottery.
Two three-bedroom, two-bathroom homes located on Moses Lane and Magee Street selling for $332,400 were at stake. The first two chosen last Thursday, James White of Southampton and Jen Tabares of Hampton Bays, were not present to hear their names called during the mid-afternoon event.
Diana Weir, Director of Housing and Community Development for the Town of Southampton, acted as the moderator for the lottery. As colleagues pulled names from the drum, number rankings were assigned. Applicants applauded one another as the rankings were announced. Even the last applicant — number 252 — smiled and exclaimed “yay!” as his name was called and number assigned.
The first two qualifying applicants in the order of the drawing will gain the opportunity to purchase one of the two newly constructed homes in Southampton. The houses were built under the direction of the Southampton Business Alliance Housing Initiative Corporation on land donated by the town.
The Long Island Housing Partnership will now start the process of qualifying applicants, starting with the number one ranked hopeful homeowner. To qualify, first time home buyers had to meet certain requirements such as maximum income levels set by the U.S. Department of Housing. These requirements ensure that the applicants towards the bottom of the list still have a chance if those above them do not meet the criteria. The first two who qualify for the mortgage will be eligible to purchase the homes.
“We’re thankful for this opportunity and there will be more to come,” Weir said. “This board is very committed to providing affordable housing.”
The lottery listing can be found on the town’s website, www.southamptontownny.gov or by calling 631-435-4710.