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Young Adults Leaving Oyster Bay

Recent study finds the demographic

moving due to lack of affordable housing

A recent study by Community Housing Innovations, Inc. found that young adults aged 25 to 34 have been fleeing Long Island towns and villages to more economically diverse neighborhoods at an alarming rate since 2000, due to a lack of affordable housing. The study published by Executive Director of CHI Alexander Roberts cited the hamlet of Oyster Bay as having lost 51 percent of its young adult population in this time span. Oyster Bay is the third largest area to lose young adults in this age range behind the Villages of Kings Point (58 percent) and Westhampton (57 percent).

Nassau County as a whole saw a decrease of 12.43 percent despite a nationwide gain of 2.76 percent in the same demographic, according to the study.

“Our present model shows that single family housing is no longer affordable or desirable to a large segment of the millennial generation and as a result they’re moving to other areas,” said Roberts, whose study is entitled, “Richest Communities on Long Island and in Westchester Experiencing Demographic Collapse of Young Adult Workforce.”

Roberts said that the cost of housing, taxes and gasoline makes things difficult for people starting out in their work life in upper scale communities like Oyster Bay.

“When I looked at the town and village level, I was amazed to find that the declines were so strikingly different in the municipalities with the highest housing prices and least affordable housing.”

He said that younger people were seeking a preference for areas with dynamic downtown scenes like neighborhoods in Brooklyn and upper Manhattan.

“They want affordable rental housing, a place with an active, diverse nightlife and a place where they can walk around comfortably,” said Roberts. “The preferences of the millenial generation are very different than that of suburbanites.”

Roberts said that 2 percent of the land area in Oyster Bay has enough multi-housing that can feed the need of the single family culture.

“The answer is not to eliminate the single family house but to restore the balance in zoning.”

Rosemary Mariscalo of Oyster Bay Real Estate said, “I imagine it would be difficult (to buy or rent) for any age group who doesn’t have the budget for Oyster Bay.

She said that she grew up in Oyster Bay, went to school here and that her clients have been with her for years and are familiar with the prices to rent in the area.

“People are very informed these days when it comes to renting and buying property through Internet research. They know price ranges of specific neighborhoods like Oyster Bay. If they don’t have the budget I tell them to look a little bit further south in neighborhoods like Hicksville,” said Mariscalo.

Oyster Bay Town Supervisor John Venditto responded to Roberts study, saying, “The findings expressed in this report represent an ongoing problem that seems to be prevalent throughout Long Island. Recognizing this, the Town of Oyster Bay took unprecedented, proactive steps to make sure that our young people have the opportunity to recognize the dream of home ownership through our next-generation housing program. The first of its kind on Long Island, this program fit well into the suburban aesthetic of single-family homes, which reflects the desirability of the Town of Oyster Bay as a great place to live, work, and raise a family.”