Advocates sided pushed their demand Wednesday for more housing in Huntington, promising to put the issue front and center for elected officials.
Pilar Moya Montera, executive director of Housing Help Inc., Hunter Gross, president of the Huntington Township Housing Coalition, and Richard Koubek, who has been involved in housing issues for decades, said they supported Gov. Kathy Hochul, has proposed prodding local municpalities into increasing the amount of housing through a variety of actions.
At their press conference Wednesday at the Huntington LIRR train station, the three leaders and several others cited both the lack of housing and its high cost in taking a toll on young people, families and older residents who could not afford the luxury retirement homes that have cropped up around the area in recent years. Advocates say that too often, families are having to choose between pay ing the rent or buying food, becoming reliant on food pantries to feed their families.
Moya, whose nonprofit assists tenants and landlords with a variety of housing problems, said she would encourage those desperate for help by reaching out to local officials and providing contact information to help them do so.
Gross said, “Over the last decade, Suffolk County has built only seven units of new housing for every 1,000 residents.”
“We can no longer ignore this,” Moya said, referring to the impact of the lack of affordable housing. “It seems to me that each time Gov. Hochul proposes a poenial solution to our severe housing crisis, our elected officials oppose it. Why do they oppose it? Because they say home rule. Right? ‘We know better. Albany doesn’t need to tell us what to do.’ Let me say something to these elected officials.Home rule got us to where we are now.”
She said families are being separated in an attempt to find housing, and that people are desperate. I am going to ask every single elected official when speaking with their constituents, is to listen with your ears, and with compassion for the young couples who want to stay on Long Island, for senior citizens, for the single parents who are trying to make ends meet.”