11/23/15 12:27pm
11/23/2015 12:27 PM

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It’s 9 a.m. the Monday before Thanksgiving and Frank Peppe, a technician with Flanders Heating & Air Conditioning, is beginning his work week by installing baseboards into a small Habitat for Humanity house being built on Greenway East in Orient. READ

02/26/15 12:15pm
02/26/2015 12:15 PM
Michael Bredemeyer helps on the construction of his future home. (Credit: Cyndi Murray)

Michael Bredemeyer helps on the construction of his future home. (Credit: Cyndi Murray)

Neither frigid cold nor threat of snow flurries could stop the more than 40 volunteers from raising the walls of Southold Town’s first Habitat for Humanity home Thursday. (more…)

12/17/13 7:00am
12/17/2013 7:00 AM

CYNDI MURRAY PHOTO | This blighted Orient home will be torn down and replaced with a modern Habitat for Humanity home.

Town Board members are scheduled to discuss the next step toward transforming a blighted property on Greenway East in Orient into Southold Town’s first Habitat for Humanity house during work session Tuesday morning.

Earlier this year, the long-vacant house was identified through Suffolk County’s 72H affordable housing program, which is designed to turn repossessed properties over to local communities to offer the homes to low-income families.

In March, the county offered the property to the town for affordable housing and has since provided $10,000 in funding for the project through a community block grant. Just two weeks ago, the town allocated another $10,000 in block grant funding toward the demolition and reconstruction of the home.

During Tuesday morning’s meeting, town special projects coordinator Phillip Beltz, who has been overseeing the efforts, will be joined by Habitat for Humanity of Suffolk president and CEO Diane Burke and Town Housing Advisory Commission member Dan Sarnowski to provide a status update on the site.

The work session begins at 9 a.m. Tuesday morning in the Town Hall Meeting Room. The regular session is scheduled for 4:30 p.m. Tuesday in the Town Hall Meeting Room.

12/03/13 1:30pm
12/03/2013 1:30 PM

CYNDI MURRAY FILE PHOTO | A portion of the Suffolk County Community Block Grant funding was allocated to transforming this blighted Orient property into a Habitat for Humanity home.

Southold Town is divvying up approximately $98,000 in Suffolk County grant funding to support local housing and community development projects.

During the Southold Town board’s work session Tuesday, town special projects coordinator Phillip Beltz provided members with a breakdown of how the Community Development Block Grant money would be spent in 2014.

Recipients include several local organizations such as Community Action Southold Town, Maureen’s Haven and the North Fork Housing Alliance. There will also be money allocated for capital improvements at the town’s community centers, Mr. Beltz said.

Mr. Beltz said he would submit the Town’s recommendations on how to allocate the grant money to the county for final approval.

Capital Improvements

The Town is proposing allocating roughly $23,500 of the grant money toward creating easier access between the town recreation center and community center on Peconic Lane in Peconic.

The two neighboring buildings are often the site of community forums and activities, however insufficient parking at the community center and no sidewalks connecting the two neighboring buildings is an inconvenience for the public, Mr. Beltz said.

“What we are proposing is to connect both sites together as a campus,” Mr. Beltz said after the meeting. “[Under the proposal] there would be an extended sidewalk and to double the parking at the Community Center.”

There is also money set aside to paint the exterior of the community center in the proposal, Mr. Beltz said.

Housing needs

The Town has earmarked more than $50,000 toward meeting housing needs, said Mr. Beltz, who welcomes the prospect of bringing more affordable housing to Southold.

“We are in dire need of affordable housing,” he said before the meeting. “When I first started here the lack of perpetual affordability was one of the greatest oversights I noticed.”

Long time CDBG recipients, the North Fork Housing Alliance are slated to receive about $30,000 toward its goal of providing affordable housing in Southold Town, Mr. Beltz said. The money would go toward funding NFHA’s many services for lower-income families, including assistance with referrals, mortgage and foreclosures, housing rehabilitation projects, subsidized housing information, loan and grant applications, utility payments, and advocacy and counseling.

Another $10,000 is allocated to Suffolk County Habitat for Humanity’s plan to transform a but a blighted property on Greenway East in Orient into Southold Town’s first Habitat home, he said. The money would be used to facilitate the demolition and reconstruction of the home.

There is also $10,000 allocated to establish affordable housing on Fisher’s Island, Mr. Beltz said.

Community organizations

Both CAST and Maureen’s Haven are expected to receive a piece from the block grant, Mr. Beltz said.

A portion of the money for CAST would be used specifically to help fund the nonprofit’s new $30,000 Parent-Child Home Program. The national initiative launched on Long Island in 1965 focuses on children between 18 months and 2 years of age. Through the effort, CAST will send home-workers to the houses of participating families twice a week for two years, dropping off donated books and encouraging the parents to read to and play with their children.

Homeless Outreach Program Maureen’s Haven was also allocated $5,000 for its efforts providing shelter, support and other services to homeless adults on the East End of Long Island during winter months.

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10/20/13 10:00am
10/20/2013 10:00 AM

CYNDI MURRAY PHOTO | Local realtors Jerry Cibulski (left) and Thomas McCarthy are members of the North Fork chapter of the Long Island Real Estate Group helping to transform this blighted Orient property into a new Habitat for Humanity house.

Real estate agents don’t typically find themselves on the construction side of the housing trade but members of the North Fork chapter of the Long Island Real Estate Group are feeling right at home helping with construction of a new Habitat for Humanity home in Orient.

It may not look like much now but the blighted property on Greenway East will soon be the site of a modern residence for a needy family in Southold Town.

From the moment chapter president and local realtor Thomas McCarthy first posed the idea of helping to fund and build the Habitat home early this summer, all 200 North Fork members were on board, he said.

“As a group of professionals we wanted to get together and give something back to our community,” he said. “It is a great cause. As brokers, we know that it’s a struggle for many working families to afford a home. We figured, what better way to help a local family in our own backyard?”

The group recently held a fundraiser at the Soundview Restaurant in Greenport, raising more than $2,500 toward demolition of the existing structure and construction of a brand-new home. Once the abandoned home has been razed and it’s time to start building, the realtors plan to get their hands dirty, Mr. McCarthy said.

The new Orient home will be the first Habitat property in Southold Town, according to Habitat for Humanity of Suffolk president and CEO Diane Burke.

The journey began earlier this year when the site was identified through Suffolk County’s 72H affordable housing program, which is designed to turn repossessed properties over to local communities that, in turn, offer homes to low-income families.

Suffolk County offered the property to the town in March and has since provided $10,000 in funding for the project through a community block grant.

The town recently allocated the grant money to assist Habitat for Humanity with demolition and cleanup of the blighted property. It also waived fees for disposal of demolished materials at the town transfer station.

Phillip Beltz, the town’s special projects coordinator, welcomed the prospect of bringing more affordable housing to Southold.

“We are in dire need of affordable housing,” he said in July. “When I first started here the lack of perpetual affordability was one of the greatest oversights I noticed.”

At present, Southold Town has only 22 affordable housing units that are covered by restrictions regulating the resale price — all of them at The Cottages in Mattituck, Mr. Beltz said.

Town officials also put out a request for proposals for 40 affordable apartment rentals spread out across the town, but no specific plan is currently in place, Mr. Beltz said.

The added bonus of working with Habitat for Humanity, he said, is that the organization ensures that the property will remain affordable. Habitat retains a stake in the property so that if the home is sold, it can use much of the appreciation to continue its programs.

Habitat will also write a covenant into the deed requiring that house be sold at an affordable price to another eligible family.

Pending the closing of the Orient property within the next couple of weeks, Habitat officials hope construction can begin by early November and that the house will be ready by spring 2014.

Mr. McCarthy said he is currently soliciting donations of time and materials for the project from local contractors.

“I believe as a community this is something we can do ourselves,” he said. “Something for the locals by the locals.”

Habitat’s director of development, Les Scheinfeld, said support from the realtors has gone a long way toward getting the project on track.

“We are so excited they want to work with us,” he said. “They have raised money and gained the support of local contractors. It’s a great partnership.”

Habitat will work with the town to develop a strategic construction plan tailored for the site.

Southold’s housing department will begin accepting and screening applications for the property after the closing.

Candidates must meet structured town and Habitat income guidelines and, if selected, must agree to contribute hands-on build time, or “sweat equity.” They would also need to complete classes and perform community service as part of the down payment on their new home.

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07/23/13 12:00pm
07/23/2013 12:00 PM

CYNDI MURRAY PHOTO | The blighted Orient home will be torn down and replaced with a modern Habitat for Humanity home.

It may not look like much now, but a blighted property on Greenway East in Orient will soon feature a modern Habitat for Humanity house that will be home to one Southold Town family.

The long-vacant house that currently exists on the parcel was identified through Suffolk County’s 72H affordable housing program, which is designed to turn repossessed properties over to local communities to offer the homes to low-income families.

In March, the county offered the property to the town for affordable housing and has since provided $10,000 in funding for the project through a community block grant.

During its regular meeting last Tuesday the Southold Town Board approved the allocation of the grant money to assist Habitat for Humanity in demolition and clean up of the blighted property and also waived fees for disposal of demolished materials at the Southold Transfer Station.

Phillip Beltz, town special projects coordinator, welcomed the prospect of bringing more affordable housing to Southold.

“We are in dire need of affordable housing,” he said. “When I first started here the lack of perpetual affordability was one of the greatest oversights I noticed.”

CYNDI MURRAY PHOTO | The foreclosed property is in extreme disrepair.

At present, Southold Town only has 22 units of affordable housing covered by resale restrictions regulating the price, all of which are located at The Cottages in Mattituck, Mr. Beltz said. Town officials also put out a request for proposals for 40 affordable apartment rentals spread out across the town, but there is currently no specific plan in place, Mr. Beltz said.

The added bonus of working with Habitat is that the organization ensures that the property will remain affordable, Mr. Beltz said. Habitat continues to hold a stake in the property so that if it’s sold, much of the appreciation will be used by the organization to continue its programs. Alternatively, Habitat will write a covenant in the deed requiring that the house be sold at an affordable price to another family eligible for affordable housing.

The Orient home would be Habitat’s first property in the Town of Southold, according to Habitat for Humanity of Suffolk president and CEO Diane Burke.

“Habitat is very excited to have the opportunity to work within the Southold community,” she said. “ The east end of Long Island is a desired location to live and raise children and we will work to create a home in Orient that will enhance and beautify the residential area. “

Pending the closing of this property, targeted for the fall of 2013, Habitat will work with the town to develop a strategic construction plan tailored for the site. Habitat officials estimate the house will be ready by spring 2014.

Southold’s Housing Department will begin accepting and screening applications for the property this fall, Ms. Burke said. Candidates must meet structured Town and Habitat income guidelines and agree to contribute hands-on build time or “sweat equity” if selected. They would also need to complete educational classes and perform community service as part of the down payment on their new home.

[email protected]