State and Local Officials to Announce Major Grant Studying Town’s Housing Crisis

(Garden City, NY) – Senator Kevin Thomas, along with his colleagues Senators John Brooks, Todd Kaminsky and Anna Kaplan, has secured funding in the budget to explore the future of public housing for the Town of Hempstead.

The major, six-figure grant will address the affordable housing crisis in America’s largest township.

“We can’t stand idly by while families are forced out of their homes. This is serious and requires our attention right now,” Senator Kevin Thomas said. “This study will explore future options for families. We are providing a road map to tackle the affordable housing crisis. I’m glad my Senate colleagues see the problem and Supervisor Gillen is taking proactive steps toward a solution.”

The problem is worsened by approximately 500 zombie homes in the Town of Hempstead, dragging down neighboring property values. In addition, an estimated 1,200 homes are facing some stage of foreclosure. 

“This study is needed to properly assess the supply and demand of housing, along with how we can properly identify more housing opportunities to help people like our millennials that are just graduating college and entering the workforce for the first time, as well as skilled laborers that work hard every day, but are either getting priced out of the communities they grew up in and call home because of rising rents or the inability to afford purchasing a home," said Town of Hempstead Supervisor Laura Gillen. "I would like to thank Senator Thomas and our entire Long Island Senate delegation that fought so hard for this funding. It lays the groundwork for a comprehensive road map that can show the Town where we are and what we need to do in order to help families that need housing, and communities that want to re-purpose vacant properties.”                                   

Senator Anna Kaplan said, “The lack of high-quality, affordable residences on Long Island is a problem that affects families, young people and older adults alike.  If we are going to really tackle the problem and take productive steps towards solutions, we need to fully understand the need, and assess the options available.  That’s why I was happy to support funding for the Town of Hempstead to pursue a thorough study of the issue in Nassau County, so we can start to take the steps necessary to solve this crisis.  I commend Supervisor Laura Gillen for her vision and dedication to addressing this issue, and look forward to working with her to do whatever is necessary to support the needs of our communities.”

The study will examine the best ways to expand affordable housing in the Town of Hempstead.