Southampton Affordable Housing Legislation - Some Hits, A Miss and an Error

At the Southampton Town Board meeting Wednesday evening, one of three laws designed to encourage building of affordable housing in the town was defeated (the miss). This legislation would have enabled the building of up to three small "cottages" on lots over 1 acre. The Town did approve another law that is supposed to encourage multi-family home building and a third law passed which enables 'accessory apartments' (the hits). However the accessory apartment law will make apartments in detached homes legal - but only for newly built homes which are situated on lots of at least 2/3 acre.

Vocal opponents of 'cottage housing' legislation out-numbered proponents by about 3 to 1 at the Wednesday meeting (the error). There were less than 100 people at the meeting and this group evidently swayed the votes of Town Board members although the Supervisor and other Board members were known to be favorable to the enabling legislation and many citizens signed a petition in favor of the legislation.

Proponents of more affordable housing are not giving up - they want the board to do more - including offering financial incentives - to encourage the desparately needed lower cost housing.