Changes to Huntington’s accessory apartment law were approved 3-2 at Tuesday’s meeting.
Supervisor Chad A. Lupinacci and Council members Joan Cergol and Mark Cuthbertson approved the changes while Council members Ed Smyth and Gene Cook voted against it.
The changes will lower minimum frontage requirements from 75 to 50 feet in houses with accessory apartment units, allow homeowners to live in either the rental or the main section of the house, and ban future basement apartments, grandfathering in legal existing units.
Lupinacci stated: “These measures are good for property rights, families just starting out and those on fixed incomes; it opens up the affordable apartment rental supply, as accessory apartments tend to be offered at lower prices than the apartments created as part of new construction. In order to keep generations together on Long Island, the availability of affordable housing and the ability to live affordably are key. The Town’s greatest role in the creation of affordable housing is one of a facilitator. As we assess our options to increase the availability of affordable housing, we need to consider alternatives to the options that would add to an unsustainable burden on our infrastructure and find creative ways to tap into our existing housing supply to fulfill the housing needs for those who feel they can’t afford to live on Long Island.”
Cergol said: “The accessory apartment amendments are a win/win/win as they will make it possible for our older residents to age in place, allow our younger residents to attain the dream of homeownership, all while giving the town a means by which to directly regulate, in many cases, previously illegal rental housing. My prior sixteen years in Huntington Town government specializing in economic and community development have deeply sensitized me to the very real financial challenges and housing needs our residents face every day. I am very proud to be a co-sponsor, together with Supervisor Chad Lupinacci, of these long overdue amendments.”
“We are very pleased that the town board was willing to make these changes” said Roger Weaving, president of the Huntington Township Housing Coalition. “Accessory dwelling units (ADU’s) are the market-based solution that are the fastest, cheapest, least intrusive way to create affordable housing.”