Two East Rockaway residents, longtime Town of Hempstead Councilman Anthony Santino, a Republican, seeking his sixth term, and political newcomer and Democrat Patrick Gillespie are running for the four-year term in Council District 4.
Town redistricting has altered the district as Cedarhurst, North Lynbrook, Bay Park, Barnum Island, Island, Hewlett Neck, Hewlett Bay Park, Hewlett Harbor and Woodsburgh were added, while Baldwin and South Hempstead were subtracted. Hewlett, East Rockaway, Oceanside, Rockville Centre, Island Park, Lynbrook, Malverne and Woodmere are also part of the revised district.
What can the town do to create more affordable housing to retain its younger residents?
Santino: Keep developments within younger residents’ economic means — so that they can afford to live here. And we also increased housing stock by expanding eligibility for mother-daughter type housing. The easy answer is building high-rise apartments or sprawling complexes that may remain empty, forever altering our suburban character of life. Hempstead Town's approach must be more balanced; we don’t want to overburden our schools or infrastructure. The town approves affordable workforce housing that enhance, not detract, from our prized suburban lifestyle. We also encourage the construction of senior housing since it frees one-family housing stock for first-time homebuyers.
Gillespie: First, the Town of Hempstead must eliminate the 10 percent ordinance. It refers to zoning laws that prohibits any new development from including more than 10 percent rentals. This prohibition on developments greatly hinders any developer from building apartment complexes. The town must require any new developments to include 80-20 rentals: fair market value rentals (80 percent) and rentals for lower income applicants such as students, young adults, and low-income families (20 percent). The town must use areas that are already developed to house young adults. This specifically includes second-floor housing over storefronts.
How can the town ensure that all residents are represented fairly after redistricting?