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Shelter Island Housing Board may see more state funding

Given the progress Shelter Island has made in putting to work a $2 million New York State Plus One grant to create accessory dwelling units on existing properties, it may be the recipient of a second $2 million grant.

Community Housing Board (CHB) Chairwoman Elizabeth Hanley was joyous at the Feb. 8 meeting as she shared the news with her colleagues that she received an inquiry about whether the town is interested in a followup grant. Given that 16 units are in various states of progress, the CHB has been hoping more funds will be forthcoming.

There’s no requirement for those rental units to be affordable, although CHB members are hoping some of them will provide reasonably priced apartments.

As that housing program progresses, two CHB members — Maria Maggenti and Bran Dougherty-Johnson — have been researching affordable rental and sale units used by other communities that could be adapted to fit on the Island.

The CHB has been looking into purchasing architectural plans, or even purchasing prefabricated units that could be constructed in sections and brought to the Island to be placed on town-owned sites.

There are one, two, three and four bedroom. Draft photos of units appear on the town website under the CHB tab where discussion documents are listed.

Whatever is accepted, it’s clear from the CHB discussion that the rental and sale units maintain the character of the Island.

Three town-owned sites have been previously identified – a 4.12 acre site for six one-bedroom rental units on South Ferry Road; 69 North Ferry Road on a 0.92 acre site for four bedrooms; and a 1.23 acre site at 16 Manwaring Road for four bedrooms.

Another discussion was related to how money that comes from the Community Housing Fund can be used. The fund is fueled by a tax paid by purchasers of property in the town.

Supervisor Amber Brach-Williams, who is a Town Board liaison to the CHB, provided members with the provisions in the law that created the fund listing how money can be used. Priorities for using funds include:

• Construction of housing units for rent on town-owned land which meets density requirements.

• Support additional year-round accessory dwelling units.

• Purchase of land and/or buildings for community housing.

• Rehabilitation of existing buildings to be used for rental units.

• Planning, engineering and design costs.

• Housing counseling services.