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Hamptons Controversy over Affordable Housing Project

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Anger brews in Amagansett

The much ballyhooed Hamptons are beautiful, elite, pristine, insert yawn here. All of this is true, and our fair shores certainly remind us that stereotypes stem from reality. Residents are fighting over where to live, and it’s getting ugly. Homeowners don’t want inexpensive housing dragging down their property value. Fair point. Here’s another one: people who work in the Hamptons need a place to live. The East End housing market is aggressive, and the traffic gets worse every summer. Translation, getting to work on time is pretty much impossible if you aren’t a local.

Here’s what’s making property owners so mad in Amagansett. On 531 Montauk Highway, there is a plan to develop a complex with apartments renting for $1,100 on the low end and up to $2,300 a month on the higher end. To most people, this sounds reasonable, but in the Hamptons, this is incredibly cheap. The very notion of anything on the East End being zoned for affordable housing is not going over well. Scheduled for completion in 2019 with a projected price tag of $18 million, the town is ready to move forward. However, the wealthy residents aren’t exactly enthusiastic, so the East Hampton Housing Authority hasn’t broken ground.

Angry residents aren’t wielding pitchforks just yet, but they aren’t keeping their displeasure to themselves. Locals have been quite vocal at town meetings, and a move.org petition is picking up traction.

What do you think? Should Amagansett, a town where the average home price is $2.8 million, have affordable housing? Or, should the residents stand their ground and protect their property value? We want to know what you think.