The Huntington Township Housing Coalition held its annual Martin Luther King Jr. holiday interfaith service, this year focusing on hunger, homelessness and the need for affordable housing.
In celebrating the life and work of King, the coalition Monday used music and words while encouraging attendees to follow in his footsteps. Richard Koubek, president of the coalition that advocates for affordable housing in Huntington, said the day also launched the coalition's yearlong campaign to persuade the Huntington Town Board to remove restrictions on allowing accessory apartments.
Koubek said attendees must carry the message that there is a need for more affordable housing on Long Island.
"I really hope that the number of people who came today -- and it's enough to fill [Huntington] Town Hall -- that these people are motivated enough so at the next confrontation over affordable housing they will come out and fill Town Hall," Koubek said.
About 200 people attended the service at the Suffolk Y Jewish Community Center in Commack. The program included readings of King's work on economic justice, hunger and poverty; musical selections by various choirs and prayers in languages including Hebrew, Arabic, Creole and Spanish.
Huntington Town Supervisor Frank Petrone spoke about meeting the challenges of affordable housing.
"It's something that's needed right where they live: either for their children, their parents or their single-parented daughter or son." He said he supports reopening discussions on the town's accessory apartment law and possible changes to it.