Last week, Hempstead Town Councilman Ed Ambrosino sat down with the Herald to discuss a range of local issues. Ambrosino — whose 2nd Councilmatic District includes portions of Elmont, Franklin Square, West Hempstead and East Meadow — has served on the Town Board since 2003, and is a lawyer and founding member of a municipal consulting and re-engineering business.
Ambrosino began the conversation by discussing a new joint initiative he and Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano are working on. The plan, known as Homes for the Brave, would give war veterans the option to lease rehabilitated homes that were previously foreclosed and in disrepair. The initiative — for which Ambrosino and Mangano are attempting to amend federal tax law — would allow the issuance of tax-exempt bonds to fund the purchase and repair of the homes before they are leased to veterans. The initiative, Ambrosino said, would give veterans the option to buy the homes after three years, and give them a stake in the community.
“One of the problems we have is vacancy issues, and other issues regarding these dilapidated homes,” he explained. “A home that is in disrepair drives down the value of the neighborhood. So we’re trying to fix up the neighborhood and also give homes to veterans who have given so much to our country.”
The plan, he added, is in its beginning stages in Washington.
Quality of life
The conversation moved on to a topic Ambrosino has emphasized in the past: quality-of-life issues in his district, especially in Elmont and Franklin Square. He said that economic development remains a priority, and that the problem of illegal housing is a major target of his. He added that the town has changed the zoning codes in Elmont, and now, he said, “we must provide incentives for people to go there.”
He also said that he is working with the developers of the shopping center on Elmont Road and Hempstead Turnpike to try to expedite the project. And he stressed the importance of keeping young people on Long Island and giving small businesses opportunities to grow.