Raia Announces Assembly Passage of Long Island Workforce Housing Incentive Program

January 31, 2006

Assemblyman Andrew Raia (R,C,I,WF-Northport) has announced the Long Island Workforce Housing Incentive Program bill passed the Assembly yesterday. Raia co-sponsored the bill in an effort to reverse the lack of affordable housing on Long Island.

“The lack of affordable housing on Long Island has become a real problem that requires proactive measures to help alleviate the rising housing prices for individuals and families,” said Raia.

Over the last five years, he noted, Long Island housing prices soared by 81 percent while household incomes increased by only 14 percent. This means affordable housing and rental units are out of reach for many residents, added Raia. According to the study, “Lack of Affordable Housing: Prescription for Disaster,” gross rent-to-income ratios often exceed 50 percent.

“We will face labor shortages and constricted economic growth if we don’t respond to the affordable housing need,” added Raia. “The Long Island Workforce Incentive Program is a step in the right direction; we are putting in place the necessary safeguards to ensure there will be affordable housing on Long Island.”

The Long Island Workforce Incentive Program would require developers receiving local government approvals for construction of five or more residential units through site plan, subdivision or mixed-use development to set aside 10 percent of the total number of dwellings as affordable housing units. The bill also provides for density bonuses for builders and developers subject to this legislation.

“This is a great program for Long Island, and I encourage my colleagues in the state Senate to pass this legislation and for the governor to sign it into law,” Raia concluded.