Officials from across New York State gathered Wednesday to celebrate the groundbreaking of a highly-anticipated $33 million affordable housing development off Three Mile Harbor Road in East Hampton.
Situated on a 14-acre currently vacant parcel, the completed development will offer five two-story buildings featuring 50 energy-efficient apartments with one-, two- and three-bedroom townhouse-style apartments, as well as a community space and outdoor recreation areas. They will be available for low- and moderate-income households, offering affordable family homes within the East Hampton School District.
Three Mile Harbor, as the complex is called, was developed by Georgica Green Ventures and the East Hampton Housing Authority, as part of Gov. Kathy Hochul’s initiative to make housing more affordable, equitable and stable, according to a statement.
“My administration remains steadfast in our commitment to creating affordable housing for all New Yorkers that is high-quality and sustainable,” said the governor, who was not in attendance but touted the ceremonial beginning of the project.
Construction is expected to take to 18 months.
“Three Mile Harbor will create 50 new, energy-efficient homes and provide opportunities for working families in East Hampton and strengthen the community through much-needed housing. We will continue taking bold action to help ensure all New Yorkers have a more stable and equitable future for the next generation, and developments like Three Mile Harbor bring us closer to this goal.”
In the 2023 State Budget, Hochul secured a new $25 billion, five-year, comprehensive housing plan that will increase housing supply by creating or preserving 100,000 affordable homes across the state. The figure includes 10,000 with support services for vulnerable populations, plus the electrification of an additional 50,000 homes.
State financing for Three Mile Harbor includes Low-Income Housing Tax Credits that will generate $18 million in equity, $3.4 million from New York State Homes and Community Renewal’s Housing Trust Fund, and $350,000 from the Federal Housing Trust Fund. Suffolk County has provided $2.2 million in subsidies.
As for East Hampton’s latest affordable housing complex at 290 Three Mile Harbor Road, there will be 10 one-bedroom, 29 two-bedroom and 10 three-bedroom apartments. A one-bedroom apartment will house the development’s superintendent.
Five of the units will be accessible for people with mobility impairments and three of the units will be equipped for persons with hearing and/or visual impairments.
A community building will include a meeting space, kitchenette, broadband Wi-Fi hotspot available to all residents, laundry facilities, and a generator in the event of power outages. Additional amenities include a playground and a community patio.
Those who earn at or below 60% of the area median income (AMI) are eligible for housing in the development. Eight of the apartments will be available to those at 30% of the AMI.
“I am pleased and excited to see this project, which will provide homes for 50 residents and their families, get underway,” said East Hampton Town Supervisor Peter Van Scoyoc in a statement. “Safe, year-round housing that is accessible to our community members is crucial to insure a healthy diversity in East Hampton, and to maintain the fabric of our community. As I have stated, we need an ‘all hands-on’ effort to address this critical need, and I appreciate the participation of the East Hampton Housing Authority and Georgica Green Ventures, with the support of NYS Homes and Community Renewal, in working alongside the Town of East Hampton to create community housing.”
“The East Hampton Town Board declared that they would actively facilitate affordable housing initiatives at the January 2022 State of the Town address and they have been true to their word,” said Catherine Casey, the East Hampton Housing Authority’s executive director, who added she was grateful for the state and county funding that made the project possible.
“The scarcity of decent, reasonably priced rentals is now affecting all economic strata; even businesses and individuals with significant resources are feeling the effects,” she continued. “Housing is now on everybody’s agenda and the Three Mile Harbor development is a significant step toward providing the community with stable, year-round housing for those who might otherwise be forced to leave or compromise their own health and safety in an effort to remain. The free market is not tending to the needs of a large percentage of our population, necessitating publicly funded housing opportunities.
“Three Mile Harbor will be a transformative project for the Town of East Hampton and we are excited to mark the start of construction with today’s groundbreaking ceremony,” said David Gallo, the president of Georgia Green Ventures LLC. “This project serves as a model for how state and local agencies, coupled with the private sector, can work together to address the need for affordable housing by undertaking a thoughtful approach that considers sustainability, transit access and community resources. We are thankful to all of our partners for supporting this project and we look forward to continuing our work to make Three Mile Harbor a reality.”
Homes and Community Renewal (HCR) Commissioner RuthAnne Visnauskas, who was on hand for the groundbreaking, thanked Georgica Green Ventures and the East Hampton Housing Authority.
“Three Mile Harbor will provide 50 safe, affordable homes in a beautiful community with high-performing schools so that working families can create a better future. And the development’s sustainable, energy-efficient design and ample green space demonstrates our commitment to building new housing that leads to a cleaner, healthier environment for all,” she said.
Over the last decade, HCR has invested over $200 million in Suffolk County for the creation or preservation of 1,853 affordable homes, including Gansett Meadows, also in East Hampton, which provides 37 homes for working families, and Riverview Lofts in the Town of Riverhead, where there are 116 affordable apartments and 12,000 square feet of commercial space in an environmentally sustainable building resilient to flooding and severe weather.
Assemblyman Fred W. Thiele Jr., who represents East Hampton, said the project helps address “the affordable housing crisis” in the area, but noted there is more work to do.
“This crisis has also exacerbated other East End issues such as traffic congestion and the recruitment and retention of fire and emergency service volunteers,” he said. “I thank Governor Hochul, Homes and Community Renewal, and the East Hampton Housing Authority for their partnership on this project. Still, so much more needs to be done to address the demand for housing on the East End. This November, voters will have the opportunity to approve the Peconic Bay Community Housing Fund, which was signed by the Governor last October. Approval of this proposal will greatly expand additional housing options for local families.”
State Senator Anthony Palumbo said that during his time as an assemblyman and now as a state senator he has worked to expand affordable housing on the East End. “The Three Mile Harbor apartments will provide urgently needed affordable living options for area residents and help reduce traffic congestion on our highways. This project is the latest example of what can be accomplished when state and local partners work together to address the region’s affordable housing shortage.”
Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone agreed. “Here on Long Island we are facing a housing crisis like never before. Home and rental prices are at record highs and the resulting shortage of affordable housing restricts economic growth and mobility in our region. The new Three Mile Harbor affordable housing development in East Hampton will provide opportunities to families, seniors and vulnerable individuals to live in a place they will be able to call home. Suffolk’s funding of this development is an investment in our community and helps ensure a future in Suffolk County where residents can afford to stay.”