Featured Story

Orient family to become homeowners as Habitat for Humanity holds wall-raising ceremony in Greenport

An Orient family will be the new owners of a Habitat for Humanity structure planned in Greenport. A wall-raising for the two-bedroom home on Johnson Court was held last Wednesday. 

“We’re very grateful, very thankful that this opportunity came to us. We applied to this wonderful organization once we got the notice and we are super lucky that they chose us,” said Khatina Feehan, who will own the house with her husband, Sean. Their 15-year-old son Connor is a 10th-grader at Greenport High School 

The Village of Greenport transferred the Johnson Court parcel to Habitat for Humanity last fall. The county had granted the land to the village several years ago for development. It’s the fourth Habitat for Humanity house to be built in Southold Town. 

“It’s a really important thing that they’re doing, getting another family into a house at an affordable price,” said village Mayor George Hubbard Jr. “This is the first one in 30 years that they’ve done, but they’re looking to do more so we’re going to try to see if we can find some other properties in the village that might be suitable to their use, and see if we can get some more houses built that people can afford to live in.”

Mr. Hubbard said village code enforcement plans to speak with the village attorney about debris and a burnt house on parcels neighboring the Johnson Court property.

“We’re going to see what options we have available to us to try and get that property next door cleaned up,” he said. 

Habitat for Humanity of Long Island CEO Lee Silberman said the nonprofit aims to complete construction in about six months. 

“In terms of this house, it’s definitely a partnership with the town. All of the village trustees were there for the wall raise to show their support, including the mayor,” he said. Mr. Silberman said Habitat does not currently have other projects ongoing in Southold, but is working on another eight houses in Southampton Town. 

The Greenport home is the fourth to be built in Southold Town. (Credit: Brianne Ledda)

“We are in discussions with the [Southold]. The town had wanted to have a parcel donated to us but the county decided to auction that off instead, which was a big disappointment to both the town and to us,” he said. “I don’t have to tell you, affordable housing in Southold is a difficult proposition.” 

Habitat for Humanity offers affordable homeownership opportunities for lower-income families. Proceeds from the mortgage cycle back into Habitat for Humanity to continue building affordable homes. 

Habitat home buyers must put in 300 hours of “sweat equity” in lieu of a down payment, by helping to build their own home and other Habitat for Humanity houses. They must also complete financial fitness and home maintenance courses. 

It can take as long as a year to fulfill these requirements, although Habitat tries to complete construction around the same time the family finishes their sweat equity contribution. 

Anyone interested in volunteering with Habitat for Humanity of Long Island should visit the website habitatliny.org/volunteer/. Those interested in specifically volunteering in Greenport should email [email protected].