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What Should Be Done about the Hamptons Housing Crisis?

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We need workforce housing

Affordable housing shortages are becoming acute here in the Hamptons, and it seems the farther east you go, the worse the problem.

In Southampton, "a handful of people, some of whom said they were homeless and others who said they might soon be, showed up to advocate for [affordable] housing, the problem was made real. These were not shopping cart ladies or scruffy bums… In fact, they looked a lot like you and me." There’s a lot of opposition to the planned Gateway development in Bridgehampton, which would include up to 30 affordable units.

In Springs yesterday, "East Hampton Town Ordinance Enforcement charged nine people and the landlord […] with 39 violations of town codes related to an over-occupied and legally deficient rental property." Nine adults and four children were living in the small house pictured above.

And in Montauk, deep-pocketed business owners are buying up old motels. Most recently, Marc Rowan, the new owner of Duryea’s and what will be Arbor (former Ciao by the Beach and the Old Shebeen before that), purchased the Neptune Motel to house summer workers. The owners of Gurney’s Inn bought Tiny Underwood’s and the Lido Motel to house summer workers. Between 500-600 staff housing units may have been removed from the low-priced market in Montauk.

There needs to be local, affordable options to house police, firefighters, and the supermarket checkout clerk year round, as well as the person bussing your table in the summer. As the traffic becomes worse in the Hamptons, expecting workers to commute an hour each way in summer to mow your lawn becomes less and less realistic.

So here you go, Curbed readers: what do you say?