Affordable Rentals Up For Grabs

Independent/Southampton Town

With the opening of Southampton’s Sandy Hollow Cove and Speonk’s Speonk Commons comes 65 affordable housing rentals.

Southampton Town will be accepting applications managed through a selection process for 37 apartments at Speonk Commons and 28 at Sandy Hollow Cove. Forms filled out and sent to the town will be randomly selected before seeing if applicants qualify, according to town Director of Housing and Community Development Diana Weir.

“We’ll take the first drawing, check the applicant’s income, all the stuff that’s required, and if they don’t qualify, we’ll go to the next,” Weir said. “And we’ll do that until all 65 units are leased out.”

Southampton Town Supervisor Jay Schneiderman said it’s been a mission of the town to provide more workforce and affordable housing since he took office. The developments coincide with the Long Island Workforce Housing Act that says for every 10 homes built, 10 percent needs to be affordable, and the Southampton’s recent resolution to alter the accessory apartments law and expand the lot sizes to include more homes, which the town received a Vision Long Island Smart Growth award for. Currently, 60 percent of Southampton’s workforce lives outside the town, according to Weir, who added that percentage does not include those who work at the hospitals, schools, and other institutions.

“This is a significant step . . . and it’ll be most exciting when people are moving in,” Schneiderman said. “This town board has been very committed to this issue. We recognize it’s a crisis, and we’re opening up a significant amount of opportunities. We’ve seen too many people forced to leave, so this is meeting a tremendous need.”

Weir, who joined the town two years ago, was brought on for her expertise in this field after serving as Brookhaven Town’s Commissioner of Housing for five years prior. She said it’s been rewarding to see how far the town’s come in a two-year span, but added this is just one small step in the right direction.

“This is a drop in the bucket for what is needed,” she said. “It’s a tremendous asset to the town to have these opportunities for locals and workers. The reason we have all this traffic on the highway is because there’s no place for people who work here.”

Links to the application are available on the town’s website or by mail, phone, or email. Eligible applicants must fall within annual household income brackets, which vary based on family and unit size. To request an application by mail, send a self-addressed envelope to Sandy Hollow Cove and Speonk Commons, 4 Executive Boulevard Suite 100, Suffern, NY, 10901; by phone, call 631-230-2050 and follow the instructions; and by email, send a request to [email protected] Only one application per family is permitted. All applications must be postmarked by July 5.

Sealed Bid Auction For Development Rights

Southampton Town has development rights available for bid from a parcel purchased in North Sea that could not be converted into affordable housing.

The property, purchased prior to Schneiderman taking the helm, with Community Preservation Fund money and $1 million from the Affordable Housing Fund, was never properly subdivided, he said.

“What we have done is take the development rights off the property so it won’t be developed into affordable housing, and we are selling those rights so that other properties can be developed,” Schneiderman said. “These credits have substantial value.”

The development rights may only be redeemed within Southampton School District for an increase in subdivision, splitting a subdivision into two undersized lots, the addition of a carriage house, or possible additional sewage flow with the Suffolk County Health Department’s approval, according to town Planning and Development Administrator Kyle Collins. The minimum bid for each development right is $275,000.

The development rights are banked through CPF purchases or under certain transactions where the developer has agreed to donate them. The money collected from the auction will be transferred to the Housing and Community Development Department for the creation of more affordable housing.

“This is all related; they’re all steps,” Schneiderman said. “And that’s not the end of our list. There’s a few other things we’re working on.”

Sealed proposals for purchase must be received by the town clerk no later than 4 PM Thursday, July 11. Bid proposals must be delivered by regular mail, overnight mail, or by hand to the clerk’s office located in Town Hall at 116 Hampton Road in Southampton.

Each bid must be accompanied by a deposit in the form of a certified or bank check, subject to collection, and made payable to the Town of Southampton in the amount of 2.5 percent of the per-bid amount. Successful bidders will be notified by mail of their selection. Within 30 days of that, the buyer must execute a contract of sale with the town for the purchase of development rights and make a 10 percent down payment. The remainder is due at closing.

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