Flood vics to get affordable housing program preferences

Horton Avenue in Riverhead after the late-March flooding
BARBARAELLEN KOCH FILE PHOTO | Horton Avenue in Riverhead after the late-March floods.

Victims of natural disasters, such as those who lost their homes in the severe flooding of Horton Avenue in Riverhead last year, will now be bumped to the top of the list of Suffolk County’s affordable housing programs — provided they meet other affordable housing criteria.

The county Legislature voted 17-0 to approve a bill Tuesday, introduced by Suffolk County Executive Steve Levy and co-sponsored by legislator Ed Romaine (R-Center Moriches), that will allow Horton Avenue flood victims to expedite the process of moving into and maintaining a new home.

Most county affordable housing programs require a family of two to earn below between 80 percent and 120 percent of the county’s median income.

In 2010, the median income for a family of two in Suffolk County was just over $82,000 according to Mr. Levy’s spokesman Mark Smith. That would cap eligible income at between $66,000 and $99,000, depending on which program a family was applying for.

County benefits include financial aid for closing costs, financial assistance for home heating fuel, free weatherization and energy audits and more.

Mr. Levy said those interested in the programs should contact the county community development office at 853-5705.

Mr. Levy has also said the county is in talks with Long Island Home Builder Cares, the charitable branch of Long Island Builders Institute, to build at least five low-cost homes — preferably on county-owned land — for flood victims.

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Read more in the Feb. 10 edition of the News-Review.

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