It has been over three years since the crime-infested Courtesy Hotel was demolished and residents of West Hempstead — along with politicians — breathed a well-deserved sigh of relief after a 10-year battle to shut it down.
But that was then. What does West Hempstead need today to keep improving the community?
The Herald sat down with Edward Ambrosino, councilman the Town of Hempstead’s 2nd Councilmanic District, which includes the western parts of West Hempstead, and asked what he was working on. The Herald also reached out to Councilwoman Dorothy Goosby, who oversees Councilmanic District 1, which includes parts of West Hempstead east of the Long Island Rail Road tracks. Goosby did not respond to repeated phone calls and emails from the Herald over a two-week period.
We also asked West Hempstead residents to give us their views on what their community needs, and collected a number of comments through interviews and social media outlets.
According to Ambrosino, illegal housing isn’t a huge issue in West Hempstead, but there are 10 to 15 homes being rented out to college students who are having loud parties and disrupting peace in their neighborhoods. He said he is working with colleges in the area to resolve the issue.
Restoring weekend LIRR service on the W. Hempstead line
Although Ambrosino said he has been told that the Metropolitan Transportation Authority will be restoring the service to the West Hempstead line, discussing the issue with MTA officials has been difficult lately, he said, due to the impending LIRR strike.
Homes for the Brave initiative
There are several homes in West Hempstead that were lost to foreclosure, have sat unattended for years and have become magnets for illegal activity, such as drug dealing. Ambrosino said he is working on legislation that would use tax-exempt bonds to buy foreclosed homes from banks and lease them to veterans returning from Iraq. After three years, he said, a veteran would have the option to purchase the home.