The Long Island Housing Partnership (LIHP) has been hired by the Town of Oyster Bay to help draft the Town's First-Time Homebuyers Plan, according to Town Supervisor John Venditto.
"Since its formation in 1988, the LIHP has become a leader in developing and promoting affordable home ownership," Venditto stated. "Along with building homes, offering down-payment assistance and arranging financing for housing developments, the group offers technical assistance to municipalities in developing affordable housing. When I approached the LIHP's President/CEO Jim Morgo about working with the town's zoning consultant, Frederick P. Clark Associates, Inc. to draft the plan and necessary legislation to implement it, his response was an enthusiastic 'yes'."
The supervisor went on to say that last fall, Town Councilman Anthony D. Macagnone proposed a comprehensive First-Time Homebuyers Plan designed to help make the American Dream of home ownership a reality for young people and families in Oyster Bay.
"The Town of Oyster Bay's reputation as being one of the most desirable places in which to live is reflected in the unprecedented rise in property values over the past several years," Macagnone said. "While this is good news for those who already own homes, current real estate prices present a formidable challenge to our young people and families seeking to buy their first home. In an effort to help make home ownership a reality for the newest generation of young people and families in Oyster Bay, I proposed a comprehensive First-Time Homebuyers Plan."
The First-Time Homebuyers Plan will establish a Resident Starter Housing (RSH) zone, which will allow for a higher density of development than general residential zoning restrictions, with regulated pricing of units. The plan will follow the same premise as the town's highly successful Golden Age senior citizen housing program, which, by allowing higher density development, has provided more than 1,200 units of high quality, affordable housing for senior citizens.
Venditto said, "At my direction, Frederick P. Clark Associates, Inc., is in the process of conducting a housing market study in order to determine criteria for this program in the areas of household income, household size, eligibility, and quantity of units." He added, "This criteria will be used to establish permitted density in the RSH zone, as well as unit sizes, buyer eligibility priorities such as residency, location priorities, and pricing regulations.
"Anyone who is familiar with prices of homes today knows that the need for affordable/starter housing is great," Venditto said. "Organizations such as the LIHP have been leading the way. I couldn't be more pleased that Jim Morgo and others from the LIHP will be giving the town the benefit of their experience in drafting this all-important piece of legislation. Just as the Golden Age housing has helped keep our parents and grandparents in Oyster Bay, the First-Time Homebuyers Plan legislation will help keep our sons and daughters here and ensure that our town remains the best place to live and raise a family for present and future generations."
The supervisor added that the First-Time Homebuyers Plan should be completed within the next couple of months. A public hearing will be scheduled to adopt legislation to implement the plan.