Riverhead in line for state housing support

The state announced $141 million in support for affordable housing projects, including $5.4 million for a planned Riverhead development.

The Finger Lakes region (six total awards for $26.5 million) will receive the largest amount of funding, followed by the Southern Tier (four awards, $21.1 million) and the Mid-Hudson region (four awards, $17.8 million). The most individual awards are going to New York City (nine awards, $16.7 million).

The aid includes low-interest loans, grants and tax credits. The awards are made available through the New York State Homes & Community Renewal’s Unified Funding Application, a single-source process designed to access various state and federal resources for affordable multifamily development.

“We are helping more New Yorkers find a place to call home,” Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo said in a statement. “This is not only an investment in affordable housing projects, but a critical step towards developing safer communities, stronger local economies and brighter futures for all New Yorkers.”

Of the state’s 10 economic regions, Long Island is the only one to receive just one award. The $5.4 million – also the lowest cumulative total for any region – is earmarked for the Peconic Crossing development, which is targeting 48 new residences in downtown Riverhead.

Although the governor’s statement said the development will be a “mixed-income” apartment building with residency preference “given to residents displaced by Superstorm Sandy,” the development – previously dubbed “Blue River Estates” – has undergone many permutations. A published report in December said the development, to be built on the site of the defunct Long Island Science Center on Riverhead’s Main Street, would serve as housing for artists, while other reports state that only 33 of the development’s 48 apartments would qualify as affordable housing.

Nonetheless, Congressman Lee Zeldin (R-Patchogue), whose 1st Congressional District includes Riverhead, told Innovate LI he was pleased to hear that the Riverhead project had been funded.

“This new housing program will provide residents with an affordable place to live while building up downtown Riverhead,” the congressman said, adding it would “provide economic revitalization and an even better sense of community to this downtown district.”


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