The Southampton Business Alliance and representatives from Southampton Town had a ceremonial groundbreaking Dec. 18 for two new workforce housing units in Tuckahoe.
The property on Moses Lane, now called Tuckahoe Woods, had been purchased by the town for affordable housing nearly a decade ago, along with property across the street where eight affordable houses can still be built.
The town transferred the two lots on the west side of Moses Lane to the Southampton Business Alliance Housing Initiative Corporation in 2014, and the Business Alliance is building the houses, to be sold through a lottery to qualified homeowners on the town’s affordable housing list.
Residents can register for the lottery online here.
Town Supervisor Jay Schneiderman said at the groundbreaking that there are currently about 500 people on the town’s affordable housing registry.
“There’s tremendous demand and very little supply,” he said. “All the people who make our community run are priced out of our community. We have to do more. This is just the beginning.”
Southampton Town Housing & Community Development Director Diana Weir said at the groundbreaking that this project is just the beginning of the town’s new plan to “bring back all the things that have been languishing” in terms of the town’s housing initiatives.
She said she’d like to see the town work to build workforce housing on the eight lots across Moses Lane, a project that stalled during the economic downturn a decade ago, and added that the separate town Housing Authority is getting ready to build affordable houses on five or six tax default properties given to the Authority by Suffolk County in Riverside.
Southampton Business Alliance Executive Director Sheryl Heather called the lack of affordable housing “one of the most crucial issues facing the business community” in Southampton.
“There are very few places employees can afford to call home here,” she said.
The houses on Moses Lane, both around 1,500 square feet, with three bedrooms, two bathrooms and full basements, are slated to be sold for a little over $300,000, in an area where houses that size often sell for around a million dollars.
Town Councilman John Bouvier said he recently ran into a doctor at Stony Brook Southampton Hospital who was looking for housing for his staff in Flanders, and that at this point, even doctors can’t afford to live in Southampton.
Councilwoman Julie Lofstad pointed out that the town has made progress this year on workforce housing initiatives at Speonk Commons and at Sandy Hollow Cove.
“We’re finally moving in the right direction,” she said.