Letters: Need for LI housing changes?

An image of what housing at an Islip An image of what housing at an Islip development called Serota Pines may look like. Photo Credit: handout

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I have to disagree with the article "LI's housing gap" [News, June 20]. I am 52 years old, grew up on Long Island and still can't afford to buy my own home.

As a lifelong renter who earns a very good steady salary, I certainly do not want to live in a "walkable urban" area. I don't want to hear trains, traffic and a noisy downtown. I want a peaceful suburban home.

Who keeps saying that baby boomers like me want to live in downtowns? How about building some affordable housing units that are in decent neighborhoods?

Lisa Ritchie, Lido Beach

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The time is long overdue for Long Island to recognize its severe shortage of affordable -- particularly rental -- options for young people, senior citizens and working-poor families.

Only about 18 percent of our housing stock is rental, compared with 38 percent in nearby and comparable Westchester County. This shortage is causing a brain drain of our young people, who are leaving Long Island in large numbers to find housing elsewhere, after we typically spend $300,000 to educate them, from kindergarten to graduation, in our public schools.

Seniors and low-wage workers also struggle to find housing. One solution is to permit homeowners to establish legal, regulated accessory apartments. Huntington is one of the few towns on Long Island that has done so, although it restricts accessory apartments to properties of no less than 75 feet of frontage, thereby eliminating many older sections of town, which have 50-foot frontage homes. Lifting this restriction would add more legal accessory apartments to our limited rental housing stock.

Richard Koubek, Dix Hills

Editor's note: The writer is president of the Huntington Township Housing Coalition.

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