Rockville Manor in Rockville Centre will get $7.5 million to expand...

Rockville Manor in Rockville Centre will get $7.5 million to expand the from 50 to 56 units. Credit: Howard Schnapp

The state is giving more than $20 million to two senior housing projects on Long Island, Gov. Kathy Hochul said on Monday.

The funding includes $13.2 million for a new senior apartment complex in Medford and $7.5 million to expand the 50-unit Rockville Centre Housing Authority’s Rockville Manor to 56 units, as well as adding a new elevator and $625,000 to revamp the building’s electrical system.

Hochul announced the Long Island’s projects as part of $260 million awarded statewide through tax credits and subsidies to create or preserve 1,852 affordable, supportive and sustainable homes in 29 developments.

“The only way to address New York’s housing crisis and bring down costs for families is to keep building and preserving homes in every region of our state,” Hochul said in a statement. “With this funding, we are pushing forward with our agenda to unlock New York’s housing potential."

Funding in Brookhaven is dedicated to the 67-unit Medford Gardens apartment complex, just north of the Long Island Expressway, developed by the WellLife Network for seniors 55 and older. The project includes 33 supportive units for those who require social services and assistance for residents with disabilities.

The mixed-use complex advances the state’s supportive housing goals, according to an application last year to the Brookhaven Town IDA. It will include affordable housing based on income requirements. Of the 33 supportive units, 16 apartments will also be designated for the chronically homeless.

Some advocates said the funding is a step forward, using incentives to offset Long Island’s high costs, but others said more housing options are needed for all demographics.

“While there is no debate on Long Island regarding the lack of housing, especially affordable housing, there remains much debate on how to resolve it,” said Kyle Strober, executive director of the Association For a Better Long Island, an economic development advocacy organization. “The governor is now offering a viable pathway to confronting this crisis through development incentives that leverage private investment to spark new residential growth and improve existing but aging housing stock.”

Investments in existing housing authorities, such as in Rockville Centre, are important to maintain living conditions and helps add housing, which can be more affordable than building new homes, said Ian Wilder, director of Long Island Housing Services, a Bohemia-based fair housing agency. He said adding supportive units is also important but there should also be expanded housing for the general public.

“Any part of creating housing is very important, along with adding supportive units and making sure everybody, regardless of abilities, is able to access housing,” he said.

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