After several years of anticipation, two affordable housing complexes in Southampton Town will soon break ground.
The town’s housing authority closed on the two properties—one in Tuckahoe that will be the site of a 28-unit affordable housing complex, Sandy Hollow Cove Apartments, and one in Speonk that will be the site of a 38-unit affordable housing complex, Speonk Commons—last week.
Bonnie Michelle Cannon, the chairperson of Southampton Town’s housing authority, said it was a good feeling to close on the land, noting that the future rental units will be used by the town’s workforce—including young adults just starting their careers, who want to live and work in the same community they grew up in.
“It’s been a long time coming,” Ms. Cannon said. “We’ve gone through at least four administrations to get this thing going.
“Folks need jobs, and folks need a place to live, and folks need something to eat,” she continued. “Those are hot buttons for me.”
The affordable housing communities will be the first of their kind in Southampton Town. Over the years, both projects received some push back from residents in surrounding neighborhoods.
In Speonk, developers had to ultimately reduce the number of apartments from 51 to 38 after complaints about the community’s environmental impact.
Once the number of units was decreased, the community was largely in support of the project, which cost an estimated $15.8 million.
The complex consists of six two-story buildings and 38 rental units, including 12 studios and 14 one-bedroom and 12 two-bedroom apartments, available to residents earning between 50 percent and 90 percent of the average median income for the area, as well as one manager’s apartment. One building will have a community room and laundry facility on the ground floor.
In order to get both applications approved, Southampton Housing Authority Executive Director Curtis Highsmith combined the Sandy Hollow project with Speonk Commons. Combining the projects also helped secure a state tax credit, as both complexes are partnerships between the Town Housing Authority and Georgica Green, a for-profit, Jericho-based company that builds affordable housing.
The Sandy Hollow project, estimated to cost $11 million, includes three two-story buildings with 28 rental units among them: 14 studios, and 12 one-bedroom and two two-bedroom apartments, available to residents earning between 50 percent and 90 percent of the area median income.
Mr. Highsmith said a deadline for the lottery applications has not been set yet, but the lottery will be properly advertised and all people on the affordable housing waiting list will be contacted.
He added he is happy that the projects are moving forward and will have people moving into the complexes in the near future.
“I’ve been getting phone calls, emails, people stopping me in the grocery store—they’re excited about the opportunity,” Mr. Highsmith said. “The excitement has been growing.”
He said that because of the complexes, more of Southampton Town’s workforce will be able to live closer to their jobs.
“The dream is starting to become more of a reality,” he said.