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Robert K. Sweeney
Assembly District 11
Chair, Environmental Conservation Committee
Sweeney Workforce Housing Act Now Law
August 8, 2008

Assemblyman Bob Sweeney has announced that his legislation, the Long Island Workforce Housing Act, was signed into law by Governor David A. Paterson this week. This law will help make home ownership a reality for Long Island’s working families.

This bill passed both the Assembly and the Senate earlier this year and was supported by the NYS Association for Affordable Housing and the Long Island Association (LIA). It was sponsored in the Senate by Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos.

“The dream of homeownership has been out of reach for Long Island’s middle income and working families,” said Assemblyman Sweeney. “This act addresses the problem and does something about it. Not only will hard working families find long awaited assistance but Long Island’s economy will also benefit.”

Since 2000, Long Island's housing affordability gap has only worsened. Median home values in Nassau and Suffolk counties more than doubled in just six years, from $213,000 in 2000 to $474,000 in 2006. Meanwhile, both counties have seen a dramatic 35% decrease in 25 to 34 year old residents.

President of LIA, Matt Crosson, said, “It’s been a long road to get to this point. This is the most significant development to affect Long Island housing for many, many years. It is also only a beginning to what needs to be done.”

The Long Island Workforce Housing Act will require that 10 percent of developments with more than five units in Nassau and Suffolk be affordable in exchange for a density bonus of at least 10% above the otherwise maximum allowable density. Those developers that do not meet the requirement would be subject to a fee, which must be applied to affordable housing purposes.

“Meaningful actions, like this act, will ensure that Long Island communities remain strong, that families can remain in this wonderful area, and that Long Island’s economy has the workforce it needs to drive future prosperity,” concluded Assemblyman Sweeney.

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