A new tax on home sales in eastern Long Island will fund affordable housing projects and provide assistance to first-time homebuyers.
The New York State Legislature passed a bill last week that would add a .5% tax on all real estate transactions in the five East End towns.
The towns could then sponsor low-interest loans to make the existing housing stock more affordable and build new structures designated for low-income residents.
Regional planners have recognized the need for affordable housing in eastern Long Island for decades. Thousands of people are on housing waitlists.
There is already a 2% regional real estate transfer tax that has preserved thousands of acres of open space for land preservation and funded projects to protect water quality.