By Jano Tantongco
Prospective purchasers for 117 townhouse units gathered at Huntington Town Hall on Tuesday in hopes of winning a lottery drawing that would bring them one step closer to a cooperative share of the Highland Green housing development, which is nearing completion on Ruland Road in Melville.
Jacklyn Guerrero, currently of Hempstead, said she applied for the lottery after a co-worker tipped her off. When she heard her number “109” called, she was all smiles.
“I’m very excited. I’ve been looking for somewhere I can afford,” said Guerrero, a teaching assistant with the Head Start child development program with the Eastern Nassau Economic Opportunity Commission.
Guerrero, 43, lives there in a one-bedroom apartment with husband Christopher, who’s an independent consultant with HME Consulting, and children Victoria, 7, and Madison, 4.
Winners will now be contacted to continue the qualification process, according to town officials.
Guerrero’s application was one out of 171 entered into the lottery, which was conducted by the developer, D&F Development Group, in cooperation with the Long Island Housing Partnership and the Huntington Community Development Agency.
The town’s community development director, Joan Cergol, helped pull the names, and was soon joined by Huntington Supervisor Frank Petrone and Councilman Mark Cuthbertson.
Both Petrone and Cuthbertson, in speaking to the prospective cooperative shareholders, explained the importance of Highland Green as a limited equity cooperative, Long Island’s first such development. Both Petrone and Cuthbertson said the concept is a new approach to affordable housing on Long Island.
Petrone first raised the idea in 2014 as the settlement of lawsuit brought against the town more than a decade ago.
Of the 117 units, 93 will be available to those whose income does not exceed 60 percent of the area median income, which is $45,780 for an individual, and $65,400 for a family of four. Specifically, there will be 72 one-bedroom units, 39 two-bedroom units and six three-bedroom units.
The remaining 24 units will be available to those whose income does not exceed 80 percent of the median, which is $55,800 for an individual, and $79,650 for a family of four.
Out of all the units, 10 percent will have preference for certain veterans, 10 percent will be for handicapped persons and 4 percent will be for the hearing or visually impaired.
Limited equity cooperatives are designed to provide affordable home ownership to qualified income eligible residents by allowing residents to purchase shares in the development for a minimal amount of equity investment, the release stated.
Purchasers will pay the equivalent of two months’ maintenance as a down-payment and there is no mortgage or other type of financing required for the purchaser. For the one-bedroom units, it is anticipated that the down-payment would be between $2,212 and $3,000, depending on the income level, and the monthly maintenance charges would be between $1,106 and $1,500.