Just 17 locals signed up for Summerwind apartment lottery

BARBARAELLEN KOCH PHOTO | The Summerwind Square apartment and retail complex on Peconic Avenue in Riverhead as it appeared Tuesday.L

In the Long Island Housing Partnership’s recent lottery for the 52-unit Summerwind Square apartments in Riverhead, only 22 applications were submitted, 17 of them from people living or working in Riverhead, according to LIHP senior vice president James Britz.

Mr. Britz said the May 8 lottery determined the order of preference for the 17 Riverhead residents first, followed by the five non-Riverhead residents. Those applicants will now be screened to make sure they meet eligibility requirements for the Peconic Avenue project, he said.

After that, he said, the remaining apartments will be rented on a first-come, first-served basis with no residency preference, so long as the applicants meet income requirements, until the 52 units are filled.

The Riverhead Town Board in February passed a resolution to “support” a 75 percent preference for applicants who live or work in town, but Supervisor Sean Walter said he’s uncertain if that resolution has any weight or is just an expression of support.

All lottery participants had to pay a $100 application fee to the LIHP and a $50 safe rent fee to Eastern Property Investor Consultants, which owns the project.

“I assumed that the lottery would be full, and that you’d have a packed house and about 100 applicants for 52 apartments,” Mr. Walter said. “But I also wasn’t aware that the cost to apply was so much. Maybe that dissuaded people from applying.”

He said he thought 75 percent of the occupancy would be town residents or employees.

The LIHP did say in the Summerwind application forms that applications received after May 1 “would be accepted on a first-come, first-served basis after lottery applicants have been assisted.”

The lottery gave preference to people living or working in Riverhead Town or the Riverhead School District, Mr. Britz said.

Applicants must also meet income guidelines based on the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s area mean income for Nassau-Suffolk, which would be $74,125 for one household. Twenty-six apartments will be rented to tenants with household incomes of up to 80 percent of AMI ($59,300). Monthly rents at this income level will be $905 for an efficiency and $1,042 for a one-bedroom. Twenty-three apartments are for households making between 80 and 100 percent of AMI, Mr. Britz said. Monthly rents for these units are $1,137 for an efficiency and $1,300 for a one bedroom. Three apartments, all two-bedroom, will be available to households making between 100 and 120 percent of AMI, he said. These will rent for $1,559 per month.

One-bedroom units range from 635 square feet to 720 square feet, the two-bedroom units are 865 square feet, and studio apartments range from 365 square feet to 475 square feet, according to the LIHP.

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