AN INVITATION TO DEVELOPERS
The Suffolk County Workforce Housing Commission (“WHC”) seeks to promote the approval and construction of workforce housing units that may not otherwise be built. WHC has adopted a policy whereby certain projects may win the endorsement of the Commission by following certain procedures. WHC encourages developers interested in our Endorsement Process to submit their proposed development information described below to:
Suffolk County Workforce Housing Commission
Attn:Jill Rosen-Nikoloff, Director of Affordable Housing
Department of Economic Development and Workforce Housing
H. Lee Dennison Building, 2nd Floor
100 Veterans Memorial Highway
Hauppauge, NY 11788
At a minimum, requests for endorsement should be received at least two months before any action for support is expected. Requests will first be considered by a subcommittee of the Commission, and if approved, brought to the full Commission for consideration. NOTE: once a request has been received, the Commission will contact the local municipality to solicit its input. Please include the following with your submission:
1. Proposed Development: A map of the proposal (site plan and area map) should be submitted along with the following development details, to the extent available:
- The timeline for development,
- The total number of units, with number of bedrooms per unit. Please also specify the number of workforce housing units,
- The total acres of the development,
- Status of site acquisition (i.e. in contract, owned, etc.),
- Status of municipal approvals,
- Plans for mixed use, if any,
- The proposed price/monthly rent of units, the number of units proposed at each price level, the range of incomes necessary to purchase or rent these properties, any provisions for long-term affordability of the housing units,
- Target income levels,
- Services or amenities provided,
- Marketing Plan, if applicable,
- List of major employers within a 15 mile radius of the development,
- Location of nearest rail, bus transit route,
- Subsidy providers if any
2. Approval Process: Indicate the status of your development in the local municipal approval process. To the extent known, please provide a schedule of public hearings and their locations.
3. Background Summary: A brief background summary should be included with the request for support. Please provide the following information for the principals in the development:
- Summary of past residential work,
- Background information on the applicant
WHC’S Endorsement Process and Guidelines
The Suffolk County Workforce Housing Commission (“WHC”) seeks to promote the approval and construction of a significant number of workforce housing units that may not otherwise be built. WHC encourages developers to submit a request for its endorsement.
WHC support may include any or all of the following:
- A letter of support for the project from WHC than can be publicly circulated at the discretion of the deveoper,
- Support letters from individual WHC members and organizations for public circulation,
- Active advocacy of the project including:
- Testimony at public hearings by a WHC representative and individual WHC members representing their organizations and businesses,
- Recruitment of key opinion leaders, neighbors, those seeking workforce homes and other allies to testify at public hearings,
- Letters to the editor in support of the project,
- Letter of support for consideration for County fast track processing
The Endorsement Preferences reflect WHC’s commitment to promote workforce housing while also seeking to achieve other goals that contribute to assuring a sustainable economy and vibrant communities and to achieve as many of the following as possible:
- Support a vibrant economy by enabling employers to attract and retain skilled employees,
- Provide a diversity of housing options,
- Strengthen the integrity of existing core downtown areas and community centers,
- Promote innovative approaches to workforce housing,
- Promote adaptive re-use of existing structures,
- Promote affirmative marketing to encourage diverse communities,
- Offer innovative and energy efficient design solutions,
- Promote use of existing and new public transportation systems and thus reduce traffic congestion,
- Conserve and enhance open space,
- Promote long term affordability
The Workforce Housing Commission (WHC) advocates for an increase in the supply of workforce homes. Workforce homes include a variety of housing types, and provide for households with different needs and income levels. The WHC seeks to encourage homes for families earning no more than 120% of the area median income; a minimum of 50% of which must be available to families earning no more than 80% of the area median income. Workforce housing communities should attempt to meet as many of the following preferences as possible:
1. Promote Affordability: (Note: this preference must be met.) A minimum of 20% of the proposed housing units must create opportunities for low-, moderate-, and middle-income wage earners (“Workforce Homes”) through:
- Rental or homeownership developments,
- Mixed-income housing developments (e.g., market-rate housing with workforce component, or workforce housing with a market-rate component),
- Workforce Homes are defined as housing units for families earning no more than 120% of the area median income; a minimum of 50% of all such workforce homes must be available to families earning no more than 80% of the area median income.
2. Promote Livable Community Design
- Design attractive residential and mixed-use developments that are compatible with and enhance existing neighborhood and public spaces,
- Promote social interaction, pedestrian-friendly design, innovative parking arrangements, and other principles of urban, village design,
- Provide projects at a size that are appropriate for the community,
- In mixed-income developments, equitably distribute income-eligible housing.
3. Promote Quality Construction
4. Encourage Compact, Mixed-Use Development
- Encourage the reinforcement of existing hamlet centers by directing compact, higher density in-fill development to existing infrastructure.
- Encourage the development of new hamlet centers along existing commercial corridors.
- In rural areas, protect open space and farmlands by clustering housing in appropriate landscapes and utilizing transfer of sanitary flow development rights.
- Take advantage of density bonuses for the provision of affordable housing.
5. Promote Use of Public Transit
- Wherever possible, locate housing developments near existing and planned public transportation.
6. Promote Economic Development and Sustainability
- Whenever possible, locate housing developments near employment centers.
- Encourage contractors to pay their employees the area wage & benefit standard for residential construction established by affiliates of the Building and Construction Trades Council of Nassau and Suffolk Counties.