Featured Letter: Housing millennials is no ‘burden’

10/23/2014 5:00 AM |
The site of a proposed 75-unit affordable housing project on Route 25 in Mattituck. (Credit: Cyndi Murray)

The site of a proposed 75-unit affordable housing project on Route 25 in Mattituck. (Credit: Cyndi Murray)

To the editor:

“Share the Burden,” Suffolk Times letters, Oct. 16. I too am a bit dismayed over the line that “none of the other hamlets has yet assumed its share of this burden.” This burden being “affordable housing,” which to me is a misnomer, as the Cottages of Mattituck are “workforce housing,” really, and all of the occupants are gainfully employed and benefit our community as volunteer firemen, teachers, community volunteers, health and hospital workers, caregivers, etc. 

It seems to me that the former NIMBY’s have now been replaced by another group, the BANANA Coalition. (Build Absolutely Nothing Anywhere Near Anyone).

Throughout Long Island, it is easier to build so-called affordable housing for 55+ seniors than to build workforce housing for the younger generations — the millennials — that are our future. Our town officials must continue to work to help residents understand the pressing needs of young people and families.

Workforce housing for them should be the goal.

Just recently, Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone was quoted ion a Suffolk Times article (“County looking at ways to get agriculture education,” June 19) as saying: “If we cannot find a way to create the next generation of farmers, the long-term sustainability of this industry will be in jeopardy.”

Also, the representatives from the Farm Bureau and Cornell Cooperative Extension, among others, highlighted the need for a reliable, skilled workforce. There’s that word again.

Well, just where will these educated, skilled workers live, if such a workforce is envisioned?

That World War I-era song comes to mind: “How ‘Ya Gonna Keep ’Em Down on the Farm — After They’ve Seen Paree?” (Paris). Do we educate them, then cut them loose to apply their knowledge elsewhere? Our present returning college graduates are forced to reside in their parents’ homes and basements.

Someone please wake up and smell the coffee.

LeRoy Heyliger, Mattituck