Southampton Town is in the midst of preparing a new Housing Plan, which it will adopt as an updated element of the town’s 1999 Comprehensive Plan later this year. 

VHB Engineering Consultants and the town are asking residents to take an online survey to help them develop the plan, after a series of virtual community meetings held in August.

The online survey asks community members to detail their priorities regarding housing throughout the town, which is plagued by a lack of variety in its housing stock, including affordable housing, multigenerational housing and housing to allow older adults to age in place. It also asks residents to discuss their particular barriers to housing access in the town. All information will be kept confidential.  

The survey will be available on the town’s website through Sept. 15 at SouthamptonHousingSurvey.metroquest.com in English or SouthamptonHousingSurveyS.metroquest.com in Spanish. It takes about five to ten minutes to complete.

“We have been getting great information from our virtual Public Forums,” said Diana Weir, Director of Housing and Community Services.  “In addition, this informational survey will allow everyone who works or lives in the town, and those who did not get a chance to participate in the forums, to share their thoughts and ideas. Community input is crucial to the success of the plan and these opportunities for participation will help the consultants and the town formulate the best plan for housing development in the future.”

Ms. Weir says a .5 percent real estate transfer tax for affordable housing proposed by State Assemblyman Fred Thiele, similar to the Community Preservation Fund, would provide a great help to the town’s efforts if it is passed by the state. Mr. Thiele’s bill proposing the tax passed the state legislature last year but was vetoed by Governor Andrew Cuomo.

Ms. Weir said the town could use the money for projects like giving grants to people who want to rehabilitiate their homes, to upgrade existing stock, provide down payment assistance, and create an employer-assisted housing program.

Southampton’s Housing Plan is scheduled to be completed by the end of this year.

Beth Young
Beth Young is an award-winning local journalist who has been covering the East End since the 1990s. She began her career at the Sag Harbor Express and, after receiving her Masters from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, has reported for the Southampton Press, the East Hampton Press and the Times/Review Media Group. She founded the East End Beacon website in 2013, and a print edition in 2017. Beth was born and raised on the North Fork. In her spare time, she tinkers with bicycles, tries not to drown in the Peconic Bay and hopes to grow the perfect tomato. You can send her a message at editor@eastendbeacon.com

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