A resolution to change the Matinecock Court affordable housing project in East Northport from a mix of rental and homeowner units to limited equity cooperatives has been approved by the Huntington Town Board.
The proposal also changes how the development will be taxed.
The change moves the project forward and ends more than 40 years of lawsuits, wrangling and delays.
"This is a major milestone," said Peter G. Florey, the Levittown-based developer of the project.
The development is slated for a 14.5-acre property at Pulaski and Elwood roads and will feature 146 units.
The development was the subject of a 2000 federal fair housing settlement between the Town of Huntington and Housing Help Inc. that called for 155 units of affordable housing.
Since then, the number of units has dropped to 146, including 70 units of rental housing and 76 condominium units. But because of problems with the financial structure of that plan, Florey changed it to a limited equity cooperative community, which needed town board approval to move forward.
Florey said the next steps include getting the federal court to sign off on the new agreement.
"We’re hopeful that the fact that we’re going back to court with an updated settlement agreement that we both agreed to should help that process," Florey said.
He said simultaneously his company will work on the underwriting process with funders including New York State Housing Finance Agency and Suffolk County Economic Development and on getting building permits from the town.
Florey said they are targeting the summer of 2022 for shovels in the ground for the project, which he estimates will cost $75 million.
Last month, the resolution for the change was taken off the agenda then added back but tabled for a vote until Dec. 14.
More than 40 people signed up to speak in support of the project Tuesday and, after hearing from several of them, the board decided to vote on the resolution out of order.
It was approved 4 -1 with Supervisor-elect Ed Smyth voting against it. He said the project eliminates affordable homeownership because there is no home equity. Smyth also said it reduces the number of units being built, which means there are going to be fewer construction jobs.
"If you want a master class in how not to govern, on how not to amend a settlement, this is it," Smyth said.