One of the biggest challenges we face on Long Island is to provide opportunities for young people to stay on Long Island. The lack of housing options is one of the major obstacles to meeting this universal goal.
In a 2008 report by the Long Island Index, the need for mixed use housing was clearly established.
- From 1990 to 2006 the number of 25 to 34 year olds declined on Long Island by 35%, compared to 8% nationwide.
- 65% of those between the ages of 18 and 34 said they were likely to move away from Long Island in the next 5 years.
- Long Island has a lower percentage of multi-unit housing and rentals than other New York suburb.
- 83% of Long Island housing units are single family houses; but one resident in three would prefer a condo, townhouse or apartment.
- A majority of empty-nesters (ages 50-64) and seniors (65 and older) would prefer to live in a neighborhood where homes are closer together.
More recently, the January 2011 Long Island Index issued a report entitled “Getting it Done: Aligning Long Island’s Development Processes with Sustainable Economic Growth”. The report makes a compelling case for multi-family developments in Long Island downtown areas, like that being proposed by Avalon (click here to view the 2011 LI Index report).
Why is affordable downtown development so important to Long Island’s future?
- A greater population density downtown is likely to spur the local economy.
- According to a 2010 Long Island Index report, 8,300 acres of undeveloped land and surface parking lots within a half-mile of downtown centers exist—enough space for 90,000 new housing units.
- The Long Island Index also reports that 6 in 10 Long Island residents feel that a lack of affordable housing is a problem in their county.
- The same survey stated that nearly 8 in 10 Long Island residents feel that the cost of living driving away young residents is a problem.
With all of the public concern over affordable housing in the area that The Long Island Index has pointed out, and with the large amount of available land near downtown centers, the new Avalon Huntington Station development, with density levels compliant with R-3M zoning, could just be the remedy that Huntington is looking for.