Featured Letter: Older and low-wage workers need housing, too

09/04/2014 5:00 AM |
Two of four buildings that house six numbered apartments at the Cutchogue business property where town officials say people are living illegally. Residents there, who pay more than $1,000 a month, say they can't afford anywhere else.

Two of four buildings that house six numbered apartments at the Cutchogue business property where town officials say people are living illegally. Residents there, who pay more than $1,000 a month, say they can’t afford to live anywhere else in town.

To the editor:

It is indeed important that Southold Town take steps to promote affordable housing. Long Island is in the throes of a serious housing crisis, as a Regional Plan Association report found in 2013. Without affordable rental housing, the report warned, businesses will not stay in the area and the economy will stagnate. The Suffolk Times editorial appropriately stresses the needs of people at the beginning of their working lives, “young professionals.” But older and low-wage workers are equally needy, and if they are priced out of the housing market, the North Fork will suffer.

Economic sectors that have flourished in recent years — tourism and viniculture, to name just two — are heavily dependent on blue-collar workers, both native-born and immigrant. Affordable housing for them as well as for the middle-class children of local residents will contribute to both prosperity and diversity.

Diana Gordon, Laurel

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