LI Index maps where the apartments are … and not

An Avalon apartment development in Rockville Centre.

The Rauch Foundation’s Long Island Index project has released an interactive map detailing the state of the region’s multifamily housing sector, a key factor in the continuing loss of young Long Islanders and a major hurdle to attracting future young workers.

The map covers almost 1,500 rental buildings and nearly 900 coops and condos across Nassau and Suffolk counties and identifies 113 projects in the development pipeline, from those that have been proposed to projects already under construction.

The Island’s existing 2,338 multifamily buildings represent approximately 162,000 apartment units, while the pipeline projects – if all are built as currently planned – would add another 26,000 units of housing to the region.

A recent Index report suggests Long Island is building more multifamily housing than it has in decades, but there remains an enormous gap between what is being developed and what the region needs to facilitate economic growth and retain and attract younger workers. The report found that up to 94,000 added rental units will be needed in the next 15 years if the Long Island economy is to thrive. Most of those units are needed in walkable, mixed-use, downtown areas that young people prize, according to Index officials.

Half of Long Island rental units developed before 1960 were built near train stations, but that number fell steadily over the ensuing decades, the map and accompanying report notes. Now, only 30 percent of Long Island rental units are within a half-mile of a train station. And only 27 percent of proposed rentals are within a half-mile of a train station.

“Hopefully this tool will assist in developing the kind of land policy changes that other suburban regions have adopted, where permits are expedited for multifamily housing when it is built within walking distance of a train station,” said Nancy Rauch Douzinas, the foundation’s president.

The maps were developed in collaboration with the Center for Urban Research at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York, which has assisted the Index on previous projects.

“This map is unique and precedent-setting,” said Steven Romalewski, director of the Graduate Center’s mapping service. “It provides easily accessible information that we hope will inform the public discussion that is needed about the future of multifamily housing on Long Island.”


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