Thursday, April 19, 2007

A Small Step Toward Affordable Housing

Hempstead Village Revamps Apartments; 130 Units Available; Half Mil From County To Assist Buyers

Could it be that it really does take a village?

Maybe so, as the incorporated Village of Hempstead moves forward with a major assualt upon upon the lack of affordable housing on Long Island.

An old apartment building renovated. A conversion of rentals to co-ops. An infusion of money giving residents a major stakehold in the community as homeowners. And voila! We have affordable housing, right in the heart of Nassau County.

An instance of local government, county government, affordable housing advocates, and private developers working together for the good of community.

Back in 1986, Long Islanders were talking about affordable housing. Here we are, nearly a generation and ten-fold increases in housing costs later, still talking.

Let the Cedar Valley project in the Village of Hempstead be but the beginning of major inroads designed, at long last, to bring affordable housing to our island!
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Nassau unveils first 'affordable' complex
By Sid Cassese

Nassau's first "affordable" co-operative complex -- Cedar Valley Apartments -- was dedicated Tuesday in Hempstead by a private developer, a not-for-profit housing group and County Executive Thomas Suozzi.

Suozzi announced a federal fund of more than $500,000 to be administered by the county to help 20 first-time homebuyers in lower income categories with purchase costs.

"Cedar Valley is where opportunity and value meet. This is a very attractive product at affordable prices," Suozzi said, adding that it is a different approach to his affordable housing initiative.The Long Island Housing Partnership -- a Hauppauge-based developer, sponsor and advocate of affordable housing -- will administer the funding program for Nassau.

Partnership president Peter Elkowitz called the program an example of "government, private and not-for-profit sectors" jointly providing affordable housing in Nassau County.

The complex at 20 Wendell Street is a pre-existing structure with 239 units for renters and owners. Developer Myles Horn purchased 130 units and spent $2 million renovating them, as well as common areas of the six-story complex to create Cedar Valley. "We're pleased to be selling upscale housing at affordable prices," he said.

Prices for the units, many with balconies, range from $75,000 to $85,000 for studios, $97,000 to $120,000 for 1-bedrooms and $128,000 to $160,000 for 2-bedrooms. Comparably sized units elsewhere in the county would cost more than twice as much, Elkowitz and Suozzi said. But taxes and maintenance fees could run $500 to $1,100 a month, Elkowitz added.

"You can own a studio for $900 a month," Suozzi said.

Families seeking Nassau's help must meet county guidelines of incomes below 80 percent of the area's median of $93,800, which for families of one, two, three, four and five, respectively, are $52,550, $60,050, $67,550, $75,050 and $81,050.Some units are already near closing, but about 100 are still available at both market price and with county assistance. The partnership can be reached at 631-435-4710; Cedar Valley at 516-505-5800.

Hempstead Mayor Wayne Hall called Horn's renovation a new start in upgrading village housing, which includes 130 large apartment buildings, the most in Nassau.

Copyright 2007 Newsday Inc.

1 comment:

  1. The Long Island Patry's position on Affordable Housing versus Sprawl ~

    The Long Island housing paradox is quite a head scratcher. Often you hear people say, Yogi Berra-esque, “House prices are so high no one can afford to buy a home.” We live in one of the most desirable places in the world to raise a family. As such house prices are high, allowing only high income families to move in. Housing lottery programs like the one the Town of Oyster Bay recently held for affordable housing are great. But there is only so many low income housing you can build and keep the character of the Island. One solution to this growth explosion is to help families reinstate the concept of the extended family. We would introduce legislation that would foster nuclear families in bringing into their homes their parents and grandparents. It will provide incentives in the sale of the latter's home as well as provide dependant breaks in income tax for the homeowner. We believe this will help protect our seniors from elder care abuse and having their life savings stripped by home care corporations.

    For more information about the Long Island Party's positions please visit

    Have a great day!