Affordable Apartments

Based on the recommendation of an East Hampton Town committee on affordable housing, the town board is considering legalizing the creation of apartments in detached structures on residential properties, such as garages.

Proposed changes to an existing law that allows homeowners to build an affordable apartment, which must be rented to a year-round tenant, onto a residence, with rents adhering to a town-imposed standard, will be the subject of a hearing at Town Hall tonight at 6:30. The change would maintain a limit of 20 permitted affordable accessory apartments within each of the town’s school districts, but would allow them to be created in outbuildings on properties of a half-acre or more, provided those buildings meet the setbacks from neighboring property lines that are imposed for principal structures.

Another change to the law, which currently requires homeowners to live on site in the principal dwelling, would allow them to occupy the apartment instead and rent the larger space.

The proposed changes to the law are designed, according to town documents, to “provide a greater opportunity to create a limited number of affordable accessory apartments within detached accessory structures, as there continues to be a demonstrated need for moderate income rental housing in the Town of East Hampton.”