Suffolk County, NY
 
[Added 6-27-2000 by L.L. No. 13-2000; amended 6-28-2004 by L.L. No. 17-2004]

§ A36-1 Definitions.

As used in this article, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
AFFORDABLE HOUSING
Housing, including workforce housing, available to individuals and families meeting certain income guidelines based on the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) area median incomes and as further defined in § A36-2A, B and C below.
AFFORDABLE HOUSING SUBSIDY (AHS)
The funding made available by Suffolk County for the acquisition, construction and/or reconstruction of parcels pursuant to § A36-2C(1)(ii) of this article.
[Added 4-28-2009 by L.L. No. 11-2009]
COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT DIRECTOR
The Director of the Community Development Agency within the Suffolk County Department of Economic Development and Workforce Housing.
[Added 11-16-2004 by L.L. No. 36-2004]
CONVEYANCE
The transfer by deed of any parcel for any municipally run, funded, and/or managed affordable housing program, with or without nonprofit agencies, pursuant to New York State General Municipal Law § 72-h.
DEVELOPER
A person, persons, corporation or other legal entity who or which will construct, rehabilitate or otherwise stimulate the creation of workforce housing that meets the criteria set forth herein.
[Added 6-27-2006 by L.L. No. 37-2006]
DIRECTOR
The Director of Affordable Housing within the Suffolk County Department of Economic Development and Workforce Housing.
[Amended 4-28-2009 by L.L. No. 11-2009]
FIRST-TIME HOMEBUYER
An individual or family unit that has not owned a home during the three-year period before the purchase of a home, with the permitted exceptions delineated in the HUD Home Investment Partnership Regulations, as they are amended from time to time, including, but not limited to, exceptions for displaced homemakers, single parents and mobile home owners.
PARCEL
A separately assessed lot, parcel, piece or portion of real property, with or without improvements erected thereon, owned by the County of Suffolk.
PARTICIPATING EMPLOYER
A company, corporation or other legal entity that employs individuals who reside in or will reside in Suffolk County and provides land, down-payment assistance, loan guarantees, or other assistance to its employees in connection with workforce housing that meets the criteria set forth herein.
[Added 6-27-2006 by L.L. No. 37-2006]
PERSON WITH A DISABILITY
A person who has a physical, mental or medical impairment resulting from anatomical, physiological, genetic or neurological conditions which prevent the exercise of a normal bodily function or is demonstrable by medically accepted clinical or laboratory diagnostic techniques; or a record of such an impairment; or a condition regarded as such an impairment as further defined by the Americans with Disabilities Act.
[Added 4-28-2009 by L.L. No. 11-2009]
WORKFORCE HOUSING
Affordable housing that is subsidized by the County pursuant to § A36-2C of this article and available to the County's workforce that meets income guidelines based on HUD area median incomes and as further defined in § A36-2A, B and D of this article.[1]
WORKFORCE HOUSING SUBSIDY (WHS)
The funding made available by Suffolk County for the acquisition, construction and/or reconstruction of parcels pursuant to § A36-2D(1)(b) of this article.
[Amended 4-28-2009 by L.L. No. 11-2009]
[1]:
Editor's Note: The definition of "Workforce Housing Director," added 11-16-2004 by L.L. No. 36-2004, which immediately followed this definition, was repealed 4-28-2009 by L.L. No. 11-2009.

§ A36-2 Suffolk County housing opportunities programs.

A. 
First-time homebuyers' auction.
(1) 
Habitable improved parcels shall be offered for sale at public auction exclusively to first-time homebuyers whose income does not exceed 80% of the HUD-established median income limits for the Nassau-Suffolk Primary Metropolitan Statistical Area (PMSA) adjusted by family size.
(2) 
Deed restrictions.
(a) 
Parcels transferred pursuant to this section must be to a first-time homebuyer and shall contain deed restrictions as follows:
[1] 
Property must remain the principal residence of the first-time homebuyer for a period of at least five consecutive years; and
[2] 
Income of first-time homebuyer must not exceed 80% of the HUD established median income limits for the Nassau-Suffolk PMSA adjusted by family size.
[3] 
Failure to comply with any of the restrictions herein shall result in the property reverting to Suffolk County.
B. 
New York State General Municipal Law § 72-h transfer program.
(1) 
Designated habitable improved parcels, uninhabitable improved parcels and vacant parcels shall be transferred by the County to participating municipalities for nominal consideration and shall be constructed and/or reconstructed for affordable housing purposes. These parcels shall be subject to covenants and restrictions requiring cooperating municipalities to transfer these parcels to eligible individuals whose income does not exceed 80% of the HUD-established limits for the Nassau-Suffolk PMSA adjusted by family size, unless the Director, subject to legislative approval, issues a waiver and authorizes the transfer to eligible individuals whose income does not exceed 120% of the HUD-established limits. Municipalities accepting habitable improved parcels shall reimburse the County for all back taxes and the applicable charges due and owing on such parcels at the time of transfer. Units constructed and/or reconstructed on a parcel transferred pursuant to this Subsection B, and sold or rented subject to a hierarchy of local preferences established by the participating municipality, shall be constructed and/or reconstructed, as the case may be, using design and construction features in compliance with § A36-3 of this article. Parcels transferred pursuant to this Subsection B shall be made available to military veterans pursuant to such local preference who served during expeditionary service in a theater of conflict in Iraq or Afghanistan, as verified by the Director of the Suffolk County Veterans Agency, which credentials shall qualify such person as first-time homebuyers as defined in this article, subject to the following:
[Amended 4-28-2009 by L.L. No. 11-2009; 6-8-2010 by L.L. No. 27-2010[1]; 11-22-2011 by L.L. No. 10-2012[2]]
(a) 
The Director of the Suffolk County Veterans Service Agency shall verify to the participating municipality that an applicant possesses a Form DD-214 to verify honorable service and one or more of the following awards/medals in order to qualify under this article:
[i] 
Afghanistan Campaign Medal;
[ii] 
Iraq Campaign Medal;
[iii] 
Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal;
[iv] 
Navy Expeditionary Medal (Iraq or Afghanistan);
[v] 
Marine Corps Expeditionary Medal (Iraq or Afghanistan);
[vi] 
Combat Action Ribbon;
[vii] 
Combat Action Badge;
[viii] 
Combat Medical Badge;
[ix] 
Purple Heart Medal; and
[x] 
Silver Star Medal.
[1]:
Editor's Note: This local law was adopted by the Legislature after disapproval by the County Executive on 5-26-2010.
[2]:
Editor’s Note: This local law was vetoed by the County Executive 12-22-2011, which veto was overridden by the County Legislature 2-7-2012.
(2) 
Deed restrictions.
(a) 
Parcels transferred pursuant to this section shall be to a first-time homebuyer and shall contain deed restrictions as follows:
[1] 
For owner-occupied housing:
[a] 
Property must remain the principal residence of owner for a period of at least five consecutive years;
[b] 
The income of the first-time homebuyer must not exceed 80% of the HUD-established median income limits for the Nassau-Suffolk PMSA adjusted by family size, or, in the case where a waiver has been issued by the Director as authorized under § A36-2B(1), income must not exceed 120% of the HUD-established median income limits for the Nassau-Suffolk PMSA adjusted by family size;
[Amended 6-8-2010 by L.L. No. 27-2010[3]]
[3]:
Editor's Note: This local law was adopted by the Legislature after disapproval by the County Executive on 5-26-2010.
[c] 
The subsidized purchase price of the home shall not exceed 60% of the median sales price for Suffolk County based on State of New York Mortgage Agency (SONYMA) guidelines; and
[d] 
Construction must be completed and the housing occupied by eligible purchasers within three years of transfer unless an extension of time is granted in writing by the Director after good cause is shown. Said extension shall not exceed two two-year extensions unless approved by duly enacted resolution.
[e] 
Failure to comply with any of the restrictions herein shall result in the property reverting to Suffolk County.
[2] 
For rental housing:
[a] 
The income of the purchaser must not exceed 80% of the HUD-established median income limits for the Nassau-Suffolk PMSA adjusted by family size, or, in the case where a waiver has been issued by the Director as authorized under § A36-2B(1), income must not exceed 120% of the HUD-established median income limits for the Nassau-Suffolk PMSA adjusted by family size;
[Amended 6-8-2010 by L.L. No. 27-2010[4]]
[4]:
Editor's Note: This local law was adopted by the Legislature after disapproval by the County Executive on 5-26-2010.
[b] 
Rent shall not exceed the HUD-established fair market rent for the Nassau-Suffolk PMSA based on bedroom size;
[c] 
The home must meet local building and zoning codes;
[d] 
Construction must be completed and the housing occupied by eligible tenants within three years of transfer unless an extension of time is granted in writing by the Director after good cause is shown. Said extension shall not exceed two two-year extensions unless approved by duly enacted resolution; and
[e] 
Property must remain in the possession of tenants who meet the income limits and rental limits set forth in § A36-2B(2)(a)[2][a] and [b] above for at least 10 consecutive years after the transfer date.
[f] 
Failure to comply with any of the restrictions herein shall result in the property reverting to Suffolk County.
(3) 
In situations where federal or state grant funds are used to finance construction under the § 72-h program, federal and state requirements must be met. However, in the event the County requirements are more stringent, then the County requirements will prevail.
(4) 
Reporting and management requirements.
(a) 
Any municipality that accepts title pursuant to New York State General Municipal Law § 72-h to a parcel from the County of Suffolk for use in an affordable housing program shall, as a condition precedent to the receipt of a deed of conveyance of such parcel, agree in writing with the County of Suffolk to provide a report no later than December 31 of each year to the Director, including, but not limited to, the exact and precise use to which any such parcels have been put and the sales price generated by initial purchase of such affordable homes.
(b) 
The report set forth at § A36-2B(4)(a) above shall explicitly state whether or not the parcel has been utilized for affordable housing purposes and whether or not the restrictive covenants to ensure such utilization contained in any such deeds of conveyance have been adhered to.
(c) 
The Director shall then determine whether or not any restrictive covenants contained in the deed of conveyance to the municipality, state government, federal government, or any agency or department thereof have been breached or violated.
(d) 
In the event that the Director determines that any such covenants have been breathed or violated, he or she shall advise the County Department of Law and the County Legislature as to the nature of such breach or violation and request authorization for such action as he or she shall deem necessary to enforce such covenant or to enjoin or to correct such breach or violation.
(5) 
Conditions of County transfer:
(a) 
The consideration paid to the County of Suffolk for any conveyance under § 72-h of the New York General Municipal Law shall be a nominal consideration not to exceed $10 for any parcel.
(b) 
Upon such payment of nominal consideration and actual conveyance of the parcel(s), all subsequent grantees shall comply with all applicable state, federal, and local regulations pertaining to the price, income eligibility and marketing standards for such affordable housing programs.
C. 
New York State General Municipal Law § 72-h transfer program for homeowners displaced by natural disaster.
[Added 2-1-2011 by L.L. No. 13-2011]
(1) 
Designated uninhabitable improved parcels and vacant parcels shall be transferred by the County to a receiving municipality for nominal consideration, to be constructed and/or reconstructed for affordable housing purposes for homeowners displaced by a natural disaster. These parcels shall be for owner-occupied housing only and subject to covenants and restrictions requiring cooperating municipalities to transfer these parcels to eligible individuals whose income does not exceed 120% of the HUD-established limits for the Nassau-Suffolk PMSA adjusted by family size. Units constructed and/or reconstructed on a parcel transferred pursuant to this Subsection C and sold to homeowners displaced by natural disaster, subject to a hierarchy of local preferences established by the participating municipality, shall be constructed and/or reconstructed, as the case may be, using design and construction features in compliance with § A36-3 of this article.
(2) 
For purposes of this article:
[Amended 6-5-2012 by L.L. No. 37-2012]
(a) 
A "homeowner displaced by natural disaster" means a homeowner displaced by hurricane, flood or tornado whose primary residence has been rendered uninhabitable as determined by the Suffolk County Department of Health Services.
(b) 
A "receiving municipality" means a town or village in the County of Suffolk which has agreed by a duly adopted resolution of its governing board to accept a transfer of property pursuant to § 72-h of the New York General Municipal Law for the purpose of creating affordable housing pursuant to this subsection.
(3) 
Restrictions and conditions. Except as provided herein with regard to HUD-established median income limits, all deed restrictions and conditions that apply to owner-occupied housing set forth in § A36-2B(2)(a)[1], § A36-2B(3), § A36-2B(4), § A36-2B(5), and § A36-3 shall apply to transfers made pursuant to this subsection.
D. 
Workforce housing and affordable housing programs other than the New York State General Municipal Law § 72-h transfer programs.
[Amended 6-27-2006 by L.L. No. 37-2006; 4-28-2009 by L.L. No. 11-2009; 2-1-2011 by L.L. No. 13-2011; 6-5-2012 by L.L. No. 37-2012]
(1) 
Funding initiatives.
(i) 
Funding initiatives for the workforce housing program by the County through the use of capital bond proceeds (WHS) shall include funding for:
(a) 
The acquisition of land by the County in conjunction with a municipality, which shall include both vacant parcels and improved parcels;
(b) 
The construction and/or reconstruction of parcels transferred to participating municipalities pursuant to New York State General Municipal Law § 72-h;
(c) 
Infrastructure improvements in conjunction with municipalities, which shall include, but not be limited to, roads, parking, sewers, water, sidewalks, streetlighting and appurtenant landscaping;
(d) 
The acquisition by the County in conjunction with a property owner, municipality, developer, or participating employer of conservation easements or infrastructure improvements which shall include, but not be limited to, roads, parking, sewers, water, sidewalks, streetlighting and appurtenant landscaping; and
(e) 
The acquisition of land, which shall include both vacant parcels and improved parcels, by the County in conjunction with a property owner, developer, or participating employer.
(ii) 
Funding initiatives for the affordable housing program by the County through the use of capital bond proceeds (AHS) shall include funding for the construction and/or reconstruction of parcels transferred to participating municipalities pursuant to New York State General Municipal Law § 72-h, including:
(a) 
Interior portions of units on such parcels using design and construction features in compliance with § A36-3 of this article for military veterans who are persons with a disability and qualify under § A36-2B(1); and
(b) 
The installation of energy reduction or energy conservation equipment or devices with a useful life of five years or greater.
(2) 
Program requirements.
(a) 
The following provisions are applicable to § A36-2D(1)(i)(a), (b) and (c) and § A36-2D(1)(ii) above:
[1] 
A municipality must enter into a development agreement with the County, which shall require the participating municipality to offer incentives, such as density bonuses, fast-track approvals and fee waiver, and/or financial assistance, such as community development block grant funds, industrial development bonds and/or tax credits, to the proposed affordable housing development prior to the acquisition of a parcel.
[2] 
Prior to such acquisition or funding, the participating municipality shall, by resolution or other legislative act, approve the development agreement which shall specify the development plan; the proposed builder, which may be a not-for-profit corporation or a for-profit builder; the number of units of housing; the targeted occupants; the method of selecting such occupants; and the sales/rental prices to be paid by the occupants. If a for-profit developer is utilized, then the amount of profit realized by the builder must conform to New York State Affordable Housing Corporation (or its successors') guidelines.
(b) 
The following provision is applicable to § A36-2D(1)(d) and (e) above:
[1] 
The property owner, municipality, developer, or participating employer, as the case may be, must enter into an agreement with the County requiring the use of the parcel(s) for workforce housing purposes and specifying the proposed builder, which may be a not-for-profit corporation or a for-profit builder; the number of units of housing; the targeted occupants; the method of selecting such occupants; and the sales/rental prices to be paid by the occupants. If a for-profit developer is utilized, then the amount of profit realized by the builder must conform to New York State Affordable Housing Corporation guidelines, or any successor thereto.
(c) 
Deed restrictions for all housing subsidized pursuant to this section, other than the New York State General Municipal Law § 72-h transfer program for homeowners displaced by natural disaster, must reflect the following guidelines:
[1] 
Any deed restrictions set forth in § A36-2B of this article that are more restrictive than those set forth in this section shall take precedence.
[2] 
Both owner-occupied and rental housing will be eligible to receive assistance. Preference will be given to projects of 10 or more units.
[3] 
Income limits.
[a] 
Fifty percent of all units, including owner-occupied and rental housing units, must, at a minimum, be occupied by persons and families whose income does not exceed 120% of the HUD-established median income limits, adjusted by family size for the Nassau-Suffolk PMSA, and 50% of all units must, at a minimum, be occupied by persons and families whose income does not exceed 80% of the HUD-established median income limits, adjusted by family size, for the Nassau-Suffolk PMSA or any municipally approved affordable requirement that restricts occupancy to households whose income does not exceed 120% of the HUD-established median income limits, adjusted by family size for the Nassau-Suffolk PMSA.
[b] 
In situations where federal or state funding is utilized to subsidize development costs, applicable federal and state income requirements must be met. However, if the County requirements are more stringent, then the County requirements will prevail.
[4] 
Affordability for owner-occupied housing. Units must be affordable to targeted income groups based on standard underwriting criteria.
[5] 
Occupancy for owner-occupied housing. Home ownership units must be owner-occupied and the principal residence of the occupant for at least 10 consecutive years. Failure to meet this requirement may result in repayment to the County equal to the value of the subsidy provided.
[6] 
Affordability for rental units. Rental units shall have maximum rent equal to the fair market rent adjusted for bedroom size established by HUD for the Nassau-Suffolk PMSA or any municipality-approved fair market rent standard, and must remain affordable for at least 10 consecutive years or until the WHS or AHS is repaid to the County, whichever is later.
(3) 
Homeowners displaced by natural disaster.
(a) 
Housing subsidized pursuant to this section may be transferred to persons displaced by a natural disaster notwithstanding that they are not first-time homebuyers.
(b) 
Parcels transferred to persons displaced by a natural disaster shall be for owner-occupied housing only and subject to covenants and restrictions requiring that eligible individuals' incomes do not exceed 120% of the HUD-established limits for the Nassau-Suffolk PMSA adjusted by family size.
(c) 
Homeowners displaced by natural disasters shall be eligible for any preference established by the participating municipality.
(d) 
Except as specifically provided in this subsection, homeowners displaced by natural disasters shall be subject to all of the terms and conditions of this section of the Administrative Code.
E. 
Repayment.
(1) 
All land acquired and housing subsidized pursuant to § A36-2D shall be subject to:
(a) 
Covenants and restrictions governing the use of the parcel(s) and housing thereon; and
(b) 
Repayment of the WHS or AHS, as the case may be, pursuant to the terms set forth in any and all funding documents when the ownership/rental requirements and/or affordability requirements contained in the development/rental agreement(s) and deed are not met.
[Amended 4-28-2009 by L.L. No. 11-2009]
(2) 
Under certain circumstances, including but not limited to affordability requirements in excess of 30 years, repayment of the WHS or AHS, as the case may be, may be forgiven.
[Amended 4-28-2009 by L.L. No. 11-2009]
F. 
Monitoring and compliance.
(1) 
The County shall administer the requirements of this article as follows:
(a) 
The Director shall develop and draft guidelines, rules and procedures necessary and appropriate to ensure compliance with this article.
(b) 
In addition to overseeing the reporting requirements set forth in § A36-2B and § A36-2C of this article, the Director shall monitor all aspects of program and procedural compliance with the Suffolk County housing opportunities programs described herein.
[Amended 2-1-2011 by L.L. No. 13-2011]

§ A36-3 Visitability requirements.

[Added 12-16-2008 by L.L. No. 1-2009]
A. 
Any new dwelling unit that is to be designed and/or constructed with the assistance of the County of Suffolk pursuant to § A36-2B of this article ("72-h transfer program") or § A36-2D of this article ("Workforce Housing Program") shall comply with the design and construction requirements set forth in this section.
B. 
The design and construction of a new dwelling unit shall comply with the following requirements:
(1) 
At least one stepless entry shall be provided into a ground-floor dwelling unit, and may be located at the front, rear or side of the building with a threshold not exceeding 1/2 inch in height.
(2) 
All interior passage doorways on the ground level of a dwelling unit shall have an unobstructed opening of at least 34 inches when the door is open at a ninety-degree angle.
(3) 
At least one bathroom shall be located on the ground level of the dwelling unit, containing a clear floor space of 30 inches by 48 inches centered on and contiguous to the sink, which is not encroached by the swing path of the bathroom door.
(4) 
The required ground-floor bathroom shall have walls that are reinforced with wood blocking between the interior studs, capable of supporting grab bars as follows:
(a) 
Two reinforcements on the back wall of the bathtub, each at least 24 inches long, at least 20 inches wide and not more than 24 inches from the head end wall and not more than 12 inches from the foot end wall, one in a horizontal position at least 33 inches, but not more than 36 inches, above the floor, and one nine inches above the rim of the bathtub;
(b) 
One backing reinforcement on the foot end wall of the bathtub, at least 20 inches long, at least 18 inches wide and located at the front edge of the bathtub;
(c) 
One backing reinforcement on the head end wall of the bathtub, at least 12 inches long, at least 18 inches wide and located at the front edge of the bathtub;
(d) 
Ground-floor interior shower walls shall include backing reinforcements on at least two walls on which the control valves are not located, each centered at least 33 inches, but not more than 36 inches, above the floor and at least 18 inches wide; and
(e) 
All walls adjacent to the toilet shall have horizontal backing reinforcements, each at least 33 inches, but not more than 36 inches, above the floor, and sufficient to allow for a twenty-four-inch grab bar on the wall behind the toilet and another forty-two-inch grab bar on one of the other walls adjacent to the toilet.[1]
[1]:
Editor's Note: Amended during codification (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. III).
(5) 
To minimize alteration costs for a person with a disability or individuals who desire to age in place, the ground floor of a dwelling unit shall be designed with at least one room which can be converted into a bedroom.
(6) 
Each heating zone in a ground-floor dwelling unit shall contain a thermostat located on the wall at least 15 inches but not more than 48 inches above the floor.
C. 
Each municipality, developer or participating employer that receives County assistance under § A36-2B and § A36-2D shall submit assurance to the Workforce Housing Director that construction activities will be conducted in compliance with this section.
D. 
The Workforce Housing Director is hereby authorized, empowered and directed to promulgate rules and regulations necessary to implement this section and is further directed to take all other actions necessary to ensure compliance with the requirements of this section.

§ A36-4 Prior laws.

Any provisions contained in Resolution No. 508-1989 that are inconsistent with this article shall be construed as being superseded by this article for the purposes of implementing the provisions of this article.