Resident applications are being accepted for a planned, two-story, 1,200-square-foot home in Greenport to be built by Suffolk's Habitat for Humanity.
Last fall, the village donated a 0.1-acre parcel on Johnson Court to the Middle Island-based Habitat for Humanity of Suffolk after several years of negotiations, said Lee Silberman, CEO, of the nonprofit, an affiliate of Habitat for Humanity International in Atlanta. A dilapidated home previously occupied the property, he said, but it was destroyed in a fire about six weeks after the nonprofit took possession of it.
While the permitting process with the village is ongoing, construction of the new home is expected to start in May, according to Silberman.
“This would be the third home that we’ve built in Greenport, and the fourth we’ve built in the Town of Southold,” Silberman said.
The home would house up to four people and be ready for sale by April 2023, he said. The nonprofit is currently seeking applicants to buy the home, with a Thursday application deadline.
The nonprofit will select potential homeowners using several criteria, including a buyers ability to pay and their current housing status — such as living in an unsafe, overcrowded or unsanitary dwelling, or paying more than 30% of income on rent.
Requirements also include having an annual income within 40% to 60% of the area median income based on family size. In addition, potential homeowners must also fulfill 300 hours of community service or volunteer work, take part in construction of their future home and complete financial fitness and maintenance classes.
Silberman said the need for affordable housing has remained an issue in Southold for years, and his group has discussed with town officials what ways they can partner to build more homes.
Southold Town Supervisor Scott Russell said there may be funding to help expand Habitat for Humanity’s role in creating more such homes if a November referendum to create a Town Community Housing Fund passes in all five East End towns.
“They know what they’re doing, it’s a great organization and I’m unaware of any project that they’ve been involved with that didn’t go well,” Russell said.
Greenport Village Mayor George Hubbard had similar thoughts.
“It’s been a long process … but I’m glad it’s finally resolved and they’re getting ready to build,” Hubbard said. “They’re at the stage where they’ll be able to go and get a family and build a house for somebody and a family will have a place to live, which is a good thing.”