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FRNCA calls on its members to support affordable housing — in Speonk


Flanders, Riverside and Northampton Community Association officials are urging its members to speak in favor of an affordable housing project in Speonk since they believe the success of that project will determine if similar development proposed for Riverside will receive state funding.

The Speonk project on North Phillips Avenue was created by Georgica Green and includes 51 workforce housing units on a nearly four-acre lot where a dilapidated former boarding house is located. The state has committed to grant the development $30 million even though neighbors have expressed their opposition to the proposal.

The developers, who are also proposing to build a mixed-use apartment building in downtown Riverhead, is working with the Southampton Town Housing Authority through the planning process and also seeks a zone change.

FRNCA president Ron Fisher said during the civic group’s meeting Monday that the future of the Speonk project will impact their own community “pretty substantially.”

“If the town doesn’t allow the zone change, there’s a good reason to believe that the state will not give us more money to build affordable housing in Riverside, which will cost about $80 million,” he explained. “Essentially, what the state is saying to the town is, if you won’t build affordable housing in affluent areas, we’re not going to give you money to build it in poor areas, like Riverside.”

The Southampton Town Board has scheduled a work session to discuss affordable housing at 6 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 6, at Remsenburg-Speonk Elementary School.

Southampton Town officials are undertaking a major effort to revitalize Riverside, a proposal that calls for affordable housing and other types of development.

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Photo: A sign presented during the FRNCA meeting Monday night of the development proposed for Speonk. (Credit: Tim Gannon)