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$125,000 in grants for affordable rental construction in Copiague

Date: 

Monday, December 22, 2014

Publication: 

Newsday

Author: 

MAURA MCDERMOTT
Conifer Copiague Project
Copiague Commons

A housing group in Centereach has received two grants totaling $125,000 to support the proposed construction of affordable-rental apartments in Suffolk County.

The Community Development Corp. of Long Island received $100,000 from the TD Charitable Foundation to help fund two proposed complexes: 90 apartments in Copiague and 48 in Riverhead, the Centereach-based corporation said in a statement Monday. The charitable arm of TD Bank gave the funds through its "Housing for Everyone" grant competition.

Separately, the Long Island Community Foundation gave a $25,000 grant to the corporation and its development partner, Conifer Realty LLC of Rochester, to help pay for the Copiague apartments.

Both grants will pay for pre-construction costs such as architectural and engineering expenses, surveys and permits.

Under the proposals, most of the apartments would be reserved for those earning up to about $63,000 for a family of four, or 60 percent of the area median income. In Copiague, 14 units would be set aside for those making up to 90 percent of the area median income.

Long Island has a "dire need for affordable rental homes," Marianne Garvin, the CDCLI's chief executive, said in a statement. "Pre-development funding is very difficult to obtain, and is essential in order to successfully build multifamily housing."

The region's shortage of rentals drives prices higher and forces many residents to live in illegal or substandard apartments, local housing experts say.

On Long Island, 21 percent of housing units were rentals in 2013, compared with 34 percent in southwest Connecticut and 38 percent in northern New Jersey, according to the Long Island Index, a project of the Garden City-based Rauch Foundation.

In Copiague, the CDCLI and Conifer have proposed building 90 affordable, energy-efficient apartments near the Long Island Rail Road station. The builders would demolish the industrial buildings that now stand on the site.

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