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East Hampton cuts ribbon on affordable housing condo complex

On Friday, Amado Ortiz the Architect of East Hampton Housing Authority spoke about the newly completed “manor-style” condominium complex that will be a prototype for similar developments that East Hampton.    (Credit: Veronique Louis)

A newly completed “manor-style” condominium complex will be a prototype for similar developments that East Hampton officials hope to replicate in the town to create more affordable housing options, town and Suffolk County officials said Friday.

Officials gathered on Accabonac Road in East Hampton for a ribbon-cutting ceremony marking the completion of the project — the first of its kind built by East Hampton Town for its affordable housing program. The complex will have a total of 12 “manor house”-style units featuring a one-bedroom condo, a pair of two-bedroom condos and a three-bedroom condo in each of three buildings.

East Hampton officials would seek to “duplicate this concept of manor houses,” as well as build other single-family homes, which would help create a better town by having more people living and working locally, East Hampton Supervisor Peter Van Scoyoc said Friday.

“It’s critically important that we have affordable housing within this town to keep our town diverse, to allow for working families to continue to live here and support our local economy,” Van Scoyoc said.  

Town Councilwoman Sylvia Overby said that the complex could be replicated on 12 acres on Pantigo Road that are priced at $2.5 million and that the town board voted Dec. 5 to purchase “for municipal purposes,” with the intent likely to be for affordable housing.

Prices for the condo units will range from $126,835 for the one-bedrooms to $267,850 for the three-bedrooms. The complex's first residents are expected to begin moving in before the end of the year, according to town officials. Eligible buyers can earn up to 130 percent of the average median income for Suffolk County, or $112,850 for an individual and $174,100 for a family of five, according to income guidelines from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Officials credited Amado Ortiz, an architect and member of the East Hampton Housing Authority board, for developing the “manor house” concept, which Ortiz described as a structure that resembles a farmhouse containing a mix of units.

The two-story units have stainless-steel appliances, carpet and tile flooring, and an exterior with large windows and cedar-shake siding.

“It’s not cookie-cutter,” Ortiz said. “This [style] is what people like to see in this community. When you drive around, a lot of houses look like this. We really wanted to bust a myth that affordable housing doesn’t look high-end.”

Ortiz said the complex's configurations will allow such units “to be built on any size lot, any configuration of lot, and it would give the town a lot more flexibility.”  

Noting that East Hampton’s high cost of living poses a “unique challenge” for town officials in creating more affordable housing options, Suffolk County Legis. Bridget Fleming (D-Noyac) said the new complex also would “identify East Hampton as a welcoming community to all levels of economic diversity.”

“That’s what makes for a strong economy; you have to have economic diversity,” she said. “That moves the community in the direction of solving some of those problems that were identified in that great investigative piece,” she added, referring to Newsday’s recent “Long Island Divided” investigative report, which found evidence of widespread separate and unequal treatment of minority potential home buyers and minority communities.

The complex will be dedicated at a later date to the late Barbara Jordan, another East Hampton Housing Authority member who officials said worked for years on providing affordable housing in the town.

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