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Hamptons Life

Aug 4, 2015 1:12 PMPublication: The East Hampton Press & The Southampton Press

New Affordable Homes In Southampton Village Near Completion

Southampton Housing Authority Executive Director Curtis Highsmith Jr. addresses the crowd on Tuesday morning.    DANA SHAW
Aug 9, 2015 12:48 PM

For Southampton native Sharon Campuzano, owning a house in her hometown seemed to be an unlikely prospect.

“I never thought that at 30 years old, I’d be able to buy a home on the East End,” said Ms. Campuzano, an accountant with Bridgehampton National Bank.

But now, because of efforts by local government officials and the Southampton Housing Authority, Ms. Campuzano can call a new home on Bailey Road in the village her own.

Since late 2013, construction has been under way on that road for three new homes slated to be completed by the end of the summer. Each structure is roughly 1,612 square feet and sits on approximately one-half acre of land. Designed by architect John David Rose, with construction overseen by Koral Brothers, Ironwood Construction and H.F. Swanson, the two-story homes all feature three bedrooms and two bathrooms, as well as cedar shingles, white trim, oak floors and mahogany porches.

According to a press release from the Housing Authority, which spearheaded the housing project, the other two new homeowners are Amani Proctor-Wingfield, a dispatcher and first responder for Southampton Village, and Matthew Weeks, a schoolteacher who currently lives in Hampton Bays. The new home owners were selected by lottery from those who qualified based on income and other factors such as whether they were local residents or served as emergency services volunteers.

The construction of the homes, officials said, has proved to be a tremendous accomplishment. The Bailey Road property was seized by Suffolk County in 2001 for delinquent taxes and then eventually given to Southampton Village after the county considered auctioning property off. The village subdivided the property before transferring the three new parcels to the Housing Authority so they could be designated for an affordable housing project.

Thanks to a long list of companies that donated their services to keep down costs–Riverhead Building Supply and Speonk Lumber, among them, provided all of the building supplies–each home is priced at $306,000. There is also a $50,000 grant from the town Affordable Housing Opportunity Fund attached to each house, lowering the cost to $256,000 per applicant. If sold privately in the real estate market, the homes and their lots would probably go for more than $1 million, Suffolk County Legislator Jay Schneiderman said at a press conference to showcase the homes on August 4. Instead, they will remain designated for affordable housing in perpetuity.

Suffolk County National Bank facilitated construction loans to the Housing Authority and mortgages for the home buyers, according to the release. The Riverhead-based law firm Twomey, Latham, Shea, Kelley, Dubin and Quartararo LLP provided pro bono legal services for the new owners.

At the press conference, government and Housing Authority officials stressed how monumental the construction of the homes is. Bonnie Michelle Cannon, chair of the Southampton Housing Authority, said she was “overfilled with joy” to see a vision she has had for more than a decade finally come to fruition.

“There were so many hurdles we had to overcome,” she said before a group of people gathered on the front porch of what will soon be Ms. Proctor-Wingfield’s home. “We provided homes to our local community—to young people who went to school here. Let’s not stop here. I do not believe that this is it for the Village of Southampton.”

Housing Authority Executive Director Curtis E. Highsmith added that the homes are consistent with the character of Southampton, another aspect of the project that many thought would not be realistic. “Affordable housing in Southampton was an oxymoron,” he said. “It’s not something we thought possible.”

Southampton Village Mayor Mark Epley, Mr. Schneiderman and Town Supervisor Anna Throne-Holst all agreed that it is important for more projects like the Bailey Road affordable homes to take place to ensure that people who grew up in the community and work here have the opportunity to afford to live here, too.

“We talk about how we live in this paradise, but we have to make sure that the backbone of this paradise is maintained,” Ms. Throne-Holst said. “We need everyone to come to the podium. We have got to help people understand how important it is.”

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Affordable for who? Not Joe Schmoe.
By LovedHerTown (132), southampton on Aug 4, 15 1:33 PM
How much are the homes?
By Mets fan (1501), Southampton on Aug 4, 15 1:49 PM
Homes are being sold for $306,000 with a $50,000 grant from the Town.
$256,000 for a 3 bedroom, 2 bath home in the Village is very affordable.
Please feel free to go to the Town of Southampton Housing Authority Facebook page. The homes are beautiful.
By CEHJR (34), Southampton on Aug 4, 15 2:20 PM
Thank you
By Mets fan (1501), Southampton on Aug 4, 15 6:07 PM
why only 3?
By wmdwjr (76), east hampton on Aug 4, 15 2:22 PM
Just the beginning. More will be built. Unfortunately, the community needs to see an example to be sold on the theory that it's possible.
By CEHJR (34), Southampton on Aug 4, 15 2:33 PM
wish I had a mahogany porch
By xtiego (698), bridgehampton on Aug 4, 15 4:41 PM
Finally the Village of SH is doing something for the "LOCALS". Good Luck to the THREE new homeowners!!!
By TheresaHunter (4), Southampton, New York on Aug 4, 15 10:10 PM
What happens when someone's income level rises after the purchase? I see one of the recipients is a teacher. A quick check on Seethroughny.net reveals that Mr. Weeks, if he is indeed the teacher who works for the William Floyd School District made nearly $50,000 a year in 2011 but made $71,622 in 2014. We know that teachers on LI get raises and other good benefits that most of the private sector does not have. Their salaries and pensions are paid for by the taxpayer. I am not sure why taxpayers ...more
By Babyboo (293), Hampton Bays on Aug 5, 15 7:51 AM
Well, a lot of us worry about the unintended economic disasters created by misguided conservatives.

I guess it's a two way street...
By Mr. Z (11847), North Sea on Aug 5, 15 8:06 AM
Suffolk County Average Medium Income, he would still be labeled low income at $71,000.
If he has a family, it's even more within his favor.

By CEHJR (34), Southampton on Aug 5, 15 10:55 AM
Sorry Average Median Income. AMI.
By CEHJR (34), Southampton on Aug 5, 15 10:58 AM
I need a house closer to the beach can you help me out? Socialism
By chief1 (2800), southampton on Aug 9, 15 6:09 PM
While I am happy for the folks getting houses I can't help but think this is a really bad idea. What is the town going to do? Buy a house for everyone making less than $70K? That's 80% of the population on the EE. Who's going to pay for it?
By bird (829), Sag Harbor on Aug 15, 15 12:58 AM
Sorry, but you are misinformed. The Town is not buying these homes. The Housing Authority is building them for home ownership. Creating an opportunity for our community and the feel of pride of home ownership to hard working young individuals.

By CEHJR (34), Southampton on Aug 18, 15 10:20 AM
EMS services are struggling to fill their rosters, teachers on the East End primarily live far to the west. Look at the trade parade each day...anyone who thinks this is a bad idea is either independently wealthy or has inherited a family home.
By InnerBay (72), Southampton on Aug 17, 15 8:15 AM
1 member liked this comment
I am not independently wealthy nor have I inherited a family home. What I did do is work hard, learn a trade, work 60 hrs a week and saved enough to put down the down payment and get a mortgage to own a home. So please explain to me why I now have to subsidize 3 people who were too lazy or chose not to do those things.
By bird (829), Sag Harbor on Aug 18, 15 1:05 AM
First, it's not subsidized housing, nor were tax payers funds used in any way. The down payment grants were from the affordable housing opportunity bank, which consist of funds used from construction of subdivisions within Southampton Town. State code requires that these subdivisions developers allocate a percentage towards to workforce housing.
Second, these three candidates are far from lazy. Each have a career and represent the core of our community, the blue collar workings that are ...more
By CEHJR (34), Southampton on Aug 18, 15 10:17 AM
They are in every way shape and form subsidized housing. First of all the property belonged to the taxpayers of Suffolk County and it was given away instead of being sold at market value. Other money was taken from developers driving the cost of the other lots in the subdivision up. The material suppliers used excess profit they made off others to supply materials for free or at a reduced rate. The lawyers working pro bono didn't take a pay cut. They overcharged others to generate the excess profit ...more
By bird (829), Sag Harbor on Aug 20, 15 12:00 PM
Redistribution of wealth is what you described, which is a form of socialism. Pretty soon we will be paying everyone the same salary. On the flip side who ever took over the housing authority is actually getting something done. I think they should be commended on their hard work, and aggressiveness.
By chief1 (2800), southampton on Aug 18, 15 4:01 PM