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East Hampton reviving affordable housing project

East Hampton Town is reviving a previously stalled plan to build 12 affordable condominium units on defunct tennis courts.

Tom Ruhle, the town's director of housing and community development, said at a meeting Tuesday that he wants to restart application processes for the project.

"This is one of the most expensive places for housing anywhere," Ruhle said after the meeting. "It makes it very difficult for the year-round population to compete against the non-year-round population."

The town board told him to take preliminary steps, such as applying for grants.

"There's a clear need and demand for housing in East Hampton, for residents who can't otherwise afford to be here, including people that work here and support the community," Supervisor Larry Cantwell said. "The more we can do to provide affordable housing, the better."

The town purchased the 3-acre Accabonac Tennis Club property on Accabonac Road in East Hampton for $890,000 in 2007 and rezoned it for affordable housing in 2009, but never built there, Ruhle said.

He proposed a $3.5 million plan to build the 12 units in three farmhouse-style "manor houses" on the property. It will require approval from the town's planning board.

Three one-bedroom units would be priced at $155,000 each, six two-bedroom units would sell for $195,000 each and three three-bedroom units would sell for $210,000 each, Ruhle said.

The town will seek grants from Suffolk County and the state totaling $960,000, Ruhle said. Revenue from the project, including the grants and condo sales, would total $3.2 million and money from a town housing fund could cover the remainder of the cost, he added.

Ruhle said the project may take nine months to receive planning board approval and another nine months for construction.

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