Can you afford to live here?

nextLI wanted to know how much it would cost for an average person to rent or own a home on Long Island, so we built a housing exploration tool . This tool aims to empower our readers with more data by presenting them with the median housing costs in their area and comparing the costs to neighboring towns and villages.

This housing tool is powered by Census data and broken down by Census Designated Places, drilling all the way down to Long Island’s hamlets, villages and cities. There are some caveats – some places are so small that there isn’t enough data to paint an accurate picture.

Head over to our websitenow to see if you can afford to live in the region.

Zoning and Planning 101

The nextLI housing task force recently had its first crash course on zoning. By definition, zoning laws should aim to promote an orderly pattern of development and to separate incompatible land uses, such as industrial and residential.

One member said on Long Island, zoning is used to manage rather than curb growth. But zoning doesn’t just curb growth, according to another member, zoning rules are a “remnant of our discriminatory history that reinforces our pattern of segregation.”

The group discussed how zoning laws in the region are outdated and discourage local development. The task force is pushing municipalities to be proactive in revitalizing its zoning codes. Too often, it’s only when a new development is proposed that communities look at their zoning laws.

Better planning is also essential to developing smart communities across the region. Public support for revitalization is key to bringing new developments to local towns and villages. Members agreed that elected officials need to “create opportunities for community input before formalized public hearings are held.” Richard Murdocco of The Foggiest Idea led the discussion on planning and discussed the role planning plays in shaping communities across the region in this short video clip he shared with the task force.

Meanwhile, the next generation is ready to get to work. At last week’s evening discussion on millennial housing on Long Island, hosted by the Millennial Leadership Coalition, they showed up in numbers to address the topic. You can read about the event in the next post.

Want to join our housing task force? Send an email to nextLI@newsday.com or come to our Nov. 19 event to meet our members and hear more about our upcoming plans. Space is limited, reservation is required.

– Coralie Saint-Louis

MLC hosts a candid discussion on housing with LI millennials

Dozens filled the recently-built Greybarn apartment building’s cozy, hip lounge for and evening discussion on millennial housing on Long Island with The Millennial Leadership Coalition. Definitely a hip topic, but not cozy, was the frustration about Long Island’s housing challenges.

Three presenters shared their expertise and experiences navigating the development and housing landscape here, followed by questions from a receptive audience hungry for ways to fix the struggle to find homes on LI.

Questions and discussion from the audience centered around resistance from the school districts about building developments, frustration with the situation here, the affordability of units in newly-built luxury apartment buildings, illegal accessory apartments, wages and purchasing power and voting in local elections. At the end, the audience posed the presenters an integral question: So how do we change all this?

Their unanimous answer: Be loud and show up at board meetings.

The Millennial Leadership Coalition is comprised of the leaders of various organizations based in Nassau and Suffolk counties who are committed to active engagement in matters pertaining to the economic, governmental, social, and environmental future of Long Island.

You can watch a video of the event here.

– Amanda Fiscina

New year, New website

nextLI is starting off the new year fresh with a brand new website. The sleek new design by nextLI’s web designer Amanda Jasper will make it easier for readers to engage with each other. The new site is designed to encourage more dialogue about our data posts, essay submissions and data dives. The site is set to launch in January 2020.

Upcoming event

The nextLI team will be present at Newsday’s 50+ expo on Saturday, Nov. 9 to survey members of our aging community. In our inaugural research survey, we profiled the next generation of Long Islanders ages 18-34 to get a better sense of who they are, what they like and what will keep them here.

For our next survey, we’ll be looking at what it’s like to grow old in the suburbs and we want you to help us draft the questions. What should we be asking Long Islanders 50 and over about growing older in the region? You can answer our online questionnaire or find our booth at the expo.

The expo is at the Suffolk Federal Credit Union Arena on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. nextLI is giving away 50 tickets on a first come, first-serve basis, please email nextLI@newsday.com for your FREE tickets. There’s a limit of two tickets per person.

Do you have an event, town hall meeting or conference you’d like to feature in our newsletter? Email nextLI@newsday.comto be considered for our upcoming events section.