Housing advocates in Southampton are asking you to sign a petition in support of legislation for affordable housing. Go to the Town's web site (look for Contact Us on the left) and write a message to the town board or sign the petition (see HOUSING PETITION on this site).

From conversations with housing advocates and from public statements it appears that Town Supervison Heaney supports the legislation before the Town Board which would promote affordable housing - both multi-family and single family units. Heaney needs our support because there are many in the town, who are campaigning against this legislation. A final hearing is set for May 24 at the Board Meeting starting at 7 pm.

Housing advocates have issued the following statement:

We support the town board’s proposed legislation “To Create New Special Exception Standards to Allow Multi-Family Residential Development within the Town of Southampton and its companion law To Permit Cottage Housing Developments within the Town of Southampton”, (referred to as Multi-family and Cottage legislation) as well as expanded accessory apartments for the following reasons:

· We need affordable housing; the real estate market is out of reach for 96% of the people who make less than $100,000. annual income living in Southampton.

· Working families who have built our beautiful town, protected its environment and natural resources, conserved its cultural legacy should not be forced to abandon their town they love so well.

· We have seen too many of our best neighbors move out because of affordability or they did not want to abandon their children raising their families, who could not live here.

· We are tired of seeing only seeing only the privileged can buy a house that allows them to remain here.

· Long time residents and their ancestors who built this town have always welcomed newcomers, but are tired of watching their heritage lost or trashed by those who treat our town as if it were only their summer playground to play in.

· Supporters of affordable housing want to strengthen the traditions of the East End by permitting the middle class to remain, to keep good paying jobs in the construction industry and all its ancillary services, and not be forced to commute for low-paying service jobs because we are proud of the craftsmen traditions handed down through generations.

· Opponents of affordable housing want to shut down building sites; turn the clock backwards and stop growth. We’re tired of their avowals of “We support affordable housing, BUT…”

· Opponents who say they’ve got theirs and now don’t care where we go will ruin our town..

· We don’t want to see the East End become a giant gated community. We don’t want a free hand-out; we work hard, we want a fair chance for our families, especially for our kids.

· We respectfully request that you vote for this legislation without delay. We support the town board in their creative strategy to provide affordable housing in Southampton Town.

Sign the petition (look for a copy on this site).

Also, come to the next Town Board Hearing (the last on the housing legislation) on May 24 at 7pm to say you support affordable housing. The board meets on the 2nd Floor at Southampton Town Hall.

For more information contact Michael O'Neill at leoneill@optonline.net