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How will East End towns use new community housing fund money?

PhotoMIX Company

New affordable housing initiatives are coming to towns in eastern Long Island. Voters approved a program that is expected to provide more than $20 million a year to address the region's housing shortage.

It's called the Peconic Bay Region Community Housing Fund, which will place a 0.5% tax on most real estate transfers in Southampton, East Hampton, and Southold.

Now, town officials are deciding how to use the funds. Money can be used to buy property for subsidize or development, down payment assistance, and loans.

Estimates for each town predict the fund will bring between $6 million and $12 million to in the Hamptons and $1.5 million to Southold.

“There’s a broad menu of things towns can do,” New York State Assemblyman Fred Thiele Jr. (D-Sag Harbor) said. “We’ll see which ones work best.”

East Hampton Town Supervisor Peter Van Scoyoc said his town could use the money for housing projects already taking place.

“It will certainly help,” Van Scoyoc said.

Southold Town Supervisor Scott Russell said he expects his town to focus on affordable home ownership. Lack of funding had previously forced the town to promote rental projects.

It is unclear if the measure will pass on Shelter Island because votes are still being counted.

The program begins in January 2023 and is expected to see revenue beginning in April.

Molly is a reporter covering Connecticut. She also produces Long Story Short, a podcast exploring public policy issues across Connecticut.