Group Attacks Ferro Over Basement Apartment Proposal

The group Save Huntington Village has lambasted Councilman Sal Ferro, one of the sponsors of legislation to permit legal basement apartments again, in a flyer that shows rundown housing labeled as “Ferroville.”

The flyer and a related email make accusations against Ferro that he fiercely denies.

Ferro and two fellow council members, Dr. Dave Bennardo and Joan Cergol, had proposed allowing legal basement apartments. A public hearing was originally scheduled for the Jan. 4 Town Board meeting but supporters want to pull it from the agenda to make some adjustments before proposing it again.

Basement apartments as accessory dwelling units had been permitted until 2019, when new units were banned, one of three changes made at the time to town housing laws.

The flyer and email on the topic referred to Ferro as president and CEO of Alure Home Improvements.

“Huntington Town Board member Sal Ferro is also President and CEO of Alure Home Improvements. Basements are and always have been a big part of their business,” the flyer says.

Ferro, however, has said previously that he resigned his positions in November, 2021, before he was elected to the Town Board.

He said, the flyer was “not only erroneous but showed a lack of integrity” and called the the group’s flyer as a “cowardly anonymous mailer. If they were so concerned they’d put their name on the mailer,” he said.

“I don’t work for Allure,” he said. “I have zero to do with Alure.”

Supporters have said that numerous illegal basement apartments already exist, and that legalizing them would ensure safety rules were enforced.

Ferro said his support for basement apartments was threefold:

“First, they would help create affordable living space so youth can stop leaving Long Island” and second, “provide senior citizens a way to help pay the taxes on their home,” he said. Third, he said, legalizing them would “provide a safe pathway to do basements. We all know people are putting apartments in their basements illegally.”

The email reads, “There is no doubt Ferro and his company stand to make huge profits from this latest sweeping change to Town Code to allow basement apartments, ensuring his 2023 starts out strong, while Huntington residents are left holding the bag. Indeed, it is seeming more and more as though Mr. Ferro campaigned to be elected to town government for the sole purpose of enriching himself, his own company, and his developer friends. Rarely has this long tradition of hypocrisy in Huntington’s Town Government been so thinly-veiled and we demand that Mr. Ferro recuse himself from any vote that might result from this hearing.”

The flyer includes a story from a trade publication in 2008 about Ferro’s basement business, as well as references to a fatal fire in an illegal basement apartment in North Patchogue in 2019, and a clip of a New York Times story on the deaths of several people living in basement apartments when the torrential rains of Hurricane Ida hit New York in 2021. Most of those deaths occurred in illegal apartments, the Times reported.

The other changes made in 2019 involved allowing homeowners to live in their accessory apartments and rent out the main unit, and a reduction in minimum property size requirements.


Town Board Proposes Ban On Basement Apartments, Changes In Housing Law


3 Replies to “Group Attacks Ferro Over Basement Apartment Proposal”

  1. I guess nobody from “Save Huntington Village from itself” bothered to reach out to Alure to confirm if Sal is still Alure’s President or CEO (of which he is currently NEITHER), as he sold the company in 2021.

    And I guess nobody from “Save Huntington Village from itself” bothered to reach out to Alure to learn how relevant (or irrelevant) basement remodeling is to our current business model.

    If they did, they could have learned that Alure stopped marketing basements over a decade ago, and has LITTLE TO NO INTEREST in basements, as evidenced by our lack of running any basement advertising for the past decade.

    The extent of our basement advertising for the past decade has been the word “basements” as a bullet point in our kitchen, bath, siding and windows ads, and a link on our website. We haven’t spent a penny to promote “basements” in over a decade. Go look at our full page ads in clipper for siding, kitchens, baths, and windows for the past 10 years and see how many “basement” ads you can find.

    It looks like George Santos and Herschel Walker were hired to put that flyer together for Gene Cook.

    Feel free to reach out if you need any actual facts on the story pertaining to Alure Home Improvements, which is one thing we know Gene Cook will never be interested in.

    Thank you,
    Seth Selesnow
    Director of Marketing and Public Relations
    Alure Home Improvements

  2. To the Editor:
    I agree that the unsigned flyer does little to offer clarity to the argument.

    However, There is a Salvatore Ferro listed as the Chief Executive Officer of Alure Basements, Inc. at the Secretary of State site:
    Type in Alure in the EntityName field, and tick all the boxes in the Entity list field. It will bring you to a list of New York businesses with Alure, one of which is Alure Basements, Inc. located in Commack. Click through for details. There are other active Alure entities at the same address that don’t have his name attached.

    Alure has a dedicated page for basements on their website (as noted in the comment above):
    The extended “Black Friday” promotion on the page is similar to others on their site but does differ from others on the minimum spend required so at least some resources are spent on marketing.

    Is that Mr. Ferro in the gray suit as the focal point in the a group shot of Alure personnel on their home page?

    That does leave the door open for more answers from him. Perception is important. He could very well be squeaky clean, despite the digital trail above. Perhaps his best recourse is to withdraw his sponsorship of the measure, let another board member sponsor it and then abstain from voting. The good news is this is not a terribly urgent measure.

    E.S. Michelson
    Huntington Station

  3. Yes, that is Sal in the gray suit in the 7 year old picture on the Alure site.
    That picture hasn’t been updated in 7 years and that picture also includes 3 other former employees who have been gone for 5, 3 and 2 years respectively.

    I take full responsibility for not updating the website. If we had anticipated this smear campaign by those willing to spread lies and quote outdated and no longer relevant sales stats from 1997, then we would have been much more diligent with the website updates.

    Yes, it’s also true that we had an employee update the disclaimers for each product category during our Black Friday sale, which took about 3 minutes to do, and which we still spent zero marketing dollars on “basements”.

    Alure Basements Inc. has been dormant for several years.

    While Alure certainly needs to do a much better job updating our website, the following facts remain:

    * Sal Ferro is no longer President or CEO of Alure.
    * Basements represent a negligible part of Alure’s business. 1.4% in 2022 and Alure currently invests “zero marketing dollars” to promote “basement remodeling”.
    * Alure runs ads to promote kitchens, bathrooms, 5 day bathrooms, siding, windows and 1 day baths/walk in tubs.
    * Alure runs NO ads to promote basements.
    * Neither Sal Ferro nor Alure have anything to gain financially in the event Huntington approves basement apartments.

    Seth Selesnow
    Marketing Director
    Alure Home Improvements

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