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Southampton Democrats have established a track record of promises kept and sound public policy delivered. One accomplishment stands out above many and that is the plan to deliver workforce housing. Incumbent Town Board member and candidate for the 2021 November election, Tommy John Schiavoni, has been instrumental in formulating the program in Southampton Town. We asked Tommy John to share some of his thoughts about the process of bringing workforce housing to fruition.
Tommy John: First and foremost, the occupants of workforce housing are going to be part of a community so with every project, neighbors need to be an integral part of the process. Neighbors in the area will be the individuals who interact with the project and its inhabitants after its completion. It is imperative that they are a part of the process every step of the way.
Having a comprehensive process is critical to workforce housing success. We have our existing housing designed in a way that is commensurate with the area. Our planning department goes to great lengths to having the structures designed in a way that fits into an area.
Strong leadership is paramount to bringing housing projects to fruition. Housing is one of the most important challenges facing the Southampton Town Board. I believe that we have a duty to institute a variety of initiatives to address housing. Leadership in this area is necessary to convince the naysayers about the merits of providing housing and move forward.
Attainable, affordable housing helps to stress healthy communities of young, old and all ages in between living in our communities. Another angle is to underscore the need for volunteers in our fire departments and our ambulance corps. If we are required to move to an all-professional emergency service, our taxes will rise in kind.
It is important for all who inhabit our hamlets and villages to have an array of ages in those communities. It is my goal to keep young people here to live, raise families and have our older relatives stay here as well. Workforce housing is needed to do just that, keep our young here, working and giving back to the communities. In addition to building communities, have more of our workforce living here will reduce the massive influx of traffic in the mornings as well.