Sag Harbor Affordable Housing Initiative Launched

Updated July 6

An enthusiastic group of 30 plus activists gathered in steamy Sag Harbor Tuesday night, June 26. They met to launch an initiative which is designed to reverse the trend to ever more costly residential housing in the village which once prided itself as being the Un-Hampton.

Sag Harbor Village is close to giving final approval to 3 residential developments with a total of 125 units, all designed for the very wealthy. The group complains that teachers, firefighters, other 'plain folks' and their children are being driven out of town.

Aided by members and staff of the Long Island Progressive Coalition, whose South Fork Chapter called the meeting, they strategized about how to convince the Sag Harbor Village Board to legislate a compulsory 25% of housing units in future developments to be 'affordable'. This means that buyers would not have to pay more than 30% of their income in mortgages and taxes.

In order to make this work the group will specify that developers be given an incentive in the form of a density bonus if they build affordable units in their projects. And since they believe that segregation by income is not healthy they will specify that developers may not be allowed to build lower cost housing in separate developments in exchange for approval of their high-end projects.

Bill Chaleff the Co-Chair of the South Fork Chapter of LIPC observed that while Sag Harbor Village has placed a moratorium on approval of new developments

" this is an opportune time to strike because the village is in the midst of re-formulating their zoning ordinances , throwing out the old zoning and creating new zoning maps and new zoning regulations. This is the time to get 'inclusionary zoning' right into the heart of the the new zoning ordinance"

Kathryn Szoka of Sag Harbor a member of the Housing Committee of LIPC, says that inclusionary zoning legislation should require that 25% of residential housing units in large developments should be affordable for local residents. The units should not be segregated in separate developments. here should be a density bonus for developers so they have an incentive to build affordable units. The same portion (25%) of the increased units should be affordable.

The activists identified tasks required to get their plans approved and formed committees.

A meeting of the LIPC South Fork Chapter is scheduled for Tuesday July 10 at 6:30pm
at the Incarnation Lutheran Church, Hayground Road and Route 27 between Water Mill and Bridgehamton. All those interested in helping obtain affordable housing in Sag Harbor are invited to attend and participate.

If you have questions leave a message at 631 - 725 - 1149.