Juneteenth, 2022. The Lt. Lee A. Hayes Youth Park in Amagansett was the site for East Hampton Town’s commemoration of Juneteenth, as well as an event marking the 100th anniversary of the late Lee A. Hayes, a Tuskegee Airman for whom the park was recently named.
Mr. Hayes was an East Hampton resident who, as a member of the Tuskegee Airmen, the first Black military aviators in the U.S. Army Air Corps, helped to break the color barrier in the previously segregated U.S. military.
“Housing is crucial to ensuring that we have people to police our streets, educate our youth, respond to emergencies, and provide services and continuity to our community.”Supervisor Peter Van Scoyoc
In his Jan 3, 2022, State of the Town address, Supervisor Van Scoyoc announced the creation of the “ALL HANDS ON HOUSING” initiative to immediately advance solutions to the housing crisis, assigning tasks toward a solution to each member of the board.
The Town has purchased 14 acres at 286 and 290 Three Mile Harbor Rd in East Hampton. The Three Mile Harbor project, scheduled for completion in 2024, is expected to feature five townhouse-style buildings with around 50 units of one, two, and three-bedroom rental apartments for moderate and low-income residents. The Town won a $5.6 million award from New York State for this project.
The Town has purchased the 12 acre Philips Property at 395 Pantigo Rd for affordable housing & recreation and open space in 2020. Seven acres will be dedicated to housing, and five to open space. Detached houses, on the southern portion of the property, will be offered for sale. The board added an affordable housing overlay zoning designation to the site in March, and updated the code to permit four affordable houses per acre, up from two, matching the Suffolk County affordable housing code. An archaeological study was also conducted, and a consultant has assisted with mapping and wastewater management designs.
The Town has acquired property at 776 and 780 Route 114 in the Wainscott just outside of Sag Harbor Village, consisting of two lots totaling around 6.5 acres. The Sag Harbor Community Housing Trust owns the two-acre parcel at 782 Route 114, and the plan is to develop the entire 8.5 acres. Earlier this year, the town voted to add an affordable housing overlay zoning designation to the three properties. The plan here is for 50 to 60 apartments of modular construction, primarily one-bedroom units, for people of median income who live and work in the town to be modeled on the 26-unit Springs-Fireplace Apartments in East Hampton.
Councilwoman Cate Rogers has been searching for town-owned properties that could be dedicated to affordable housing. As of early May 2022, eight properties of one acre or more have been identified as potential sites for community housing.
In March 2022, The town board voted to amend the code to increase the allowable number of single-family residences per acre in affordable housing overlay districts from two to four.
The Peconic Bay Region Community Housing Act, authorizes the five East End towns to establish community housing funds with proceeds from a .5-percent real estate transfer tax, which would be in addition to the 2-percent transfer tax for the community preservation fund. Voters have the chance to approve the transfer tax in a referendum on the ballot in November. Buyers, with the exception of first-time homebuyers, would pay the tax, with the first $400,000 exempt up to purchases of $2 million. The money could be used for down-payment assistance, land acquisition, project design and development, accessory dwelling units, rehabilitation loans and grants, rehabilitation or improvement of existing town-owned housing, affordable housing easements, and housing counseling.