The Affordable 1-Bedroom Ownership Survey for Ruland Road and a related statement from Berland compares rental and ownership costs, based on pricing at the Knolls in Melville. Based on those figures, the cost of ownership and renting is virtually the same. The survey on the town website asks, "Are you a young professional, senior, veteran or family interested in buying a one-bedroom affordable co-op/condo unit in Melville?"
Berland said, ""Homeownership should not be for the select few. I believe that Huntington residents would jump at the chance to own an affordable one-bedroom apartment rather than merely renting."
On Tuesday, a coalition of housing activists gathered at Town Hall to urge the Town Board to approve a proposed settlement in an NAACP lawsuit against the town involving the configuration of apartments on Ruland Road. The Town Board will consider whether to accept the settlement next week. Terms of the settlement are still being negotiated but as of Tuesday included units of one, two and three bedrooms.
Originally proposed as one-bedroom, equity apartments, the apartments have been the center of debate for more than a decade. The coalition at Town Hall Tuesday, from veterans to the NAACP to a young professionals group, wants more affordable apartments, with a developer offering a specific plan for a 117-unit mix of rentals.
"Ownership means stability and an opportunity to build equity," Berland continued. "It also means securing a permanent place as a member of the Huntington community, which will continue to make the town vibrant for years to come. I have long been in favor of rental opportunities in Huntington. But for Ruland Road we should not sacrifice the opportunity before us to help Huntingtonians achieve the 'American Dream' of home ownership. I believe that the taxpayers will agree, and I look forward to hearing what they have to say."
The Town Board will meet at 7 p.m. Tuesday.