The Riverview Lofts affordable housing complex in downtown Riverhead.

The Riverview Lofts affordable housing complex in downtown Riverhead. Credit: Newsday/Thomas A. Ferrara

Long Island’s lack of affordable housing is hindering employers' ability to attract and retain workers, according to a poll released on Thursday.

Nearly 8 in 10 CEOs said the dearth of affordable single-family houses and apartments is the biggest “detriment to doing business” here in a survey conducted last fall by PKF O’Connor Davies accountants and the Siena College Research Institute.

A panel of experts who discussed the poll results after their release at the Crest Hollow Country Club in Woodbury agreed.

“Housing is key to attracting and retaining our labor force,” said state Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli, adding that his office is examining shelter costs statewide. 

Kevin Law, a partner in the real estate development firm Tritec in East Setauket, said 82% of the housing stock in Nassau and Suffolk counties is single-family homes, a far higher amount than in the rest of downstate, and in New Jersey and Connecticut.

“We have a significant supply imbalance here,” he told the audience. “We need to increase the supply of rental housing because that’s usually the place where younger employees will start out.”

Besides having a roof over their head, many of those who are new to the workforce also want to start a family or already have young children, which means they need child care.

Stacey Sikes, a vice president at the Long Island Association business group and mother of two daughters, said, “people cannot go to work unless there is affordable and available child care... Child care is a business issue."

Long Island’s lack of affordable housing is hindering employers' ability to attract and retain workers, according to a poll released on Thursday.

Nearly 8 in 10 CEOs said the dearth of affordable single-family houses and apartments is the biggest “detriment to doing business” here in a survey conducted last fall by PKF O’Connor Davies accountants and the Siena College Research Institute.

A panel of experts who discussed the poll results after their release at the Crest Hollow Country Club in Woodbury agreed.

“Housing is key to attracting and retaining our labor force,” said state Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli, adding that his office is examining shelter costs statewide. 

Kevin Law, a partner in the real estate development firm Tritec in East Setauket, said 82% of the housing stock in Nassau and Suffolk counties is single-family homes, a far higher amount than in the rest of downstate, and in New Jersey and Connecticut.

“We have a significant supply imbalance here,” he told the audience. “We need to increase the supply of rental housing because that’s usually the place where younger employees will start out.”

Besides having a roof over their head, many of those who are new to the workforce also want to start a family or already have young children, which means they need child care.

Stacey Sikes, a vice president at the Long Island Association business group and mother of two daughters, said, “people cannot go to work unless there is affordable and available child care... Child care is a business issue."

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