It’s no secret that Long Island is facing a number of housing challenges. These challenges are changing the demographics and are a potential barrier to the long-term economic recovery and future growth of the region, according to an analysis by the Regional Plan Association. “The birthplace of the suburbs, Long Island today must adapt its housing system to meet the needs of a new era,” said Tom Wright, President and CEO of Regional Plan Association.
Shortage of Appropriate Housing
Long Island falls short when it comes to meeting the housing needs of its population with a lack of a variety of housing options and the limited inventory of those options that do exist.
Housing needs differ and change with age. Young people may require smaller spaces than families, and older adults may be empty nesters looking to downsize. However, with single-family homes dominating the housing stock, there are very limited options.
When it comes to rentals, Long Island is lagging behind other regions with approximately 20% of the housing stock being rentals, compared to 37% in Northern Nj and 34% in Westchester.
In addition to the lack of variety and limited rental stock, availability is also an issue. And once again, more pronounced on Long Island as compared to other areas. For example, Long Island’s vacancy rate is 2.9% which is roughly half the national average rate of 5.9%.
The Economic Impact
The lack of appropriate housing is driving many young people to leave Long Island. This demographic is key to a strong workforce and attracting new businesses that contribute to the growth of the economy. Instead, we’re seeing a demographic shift towards older households. By 2040, Long Island’s population of those over 65 is expected to grow by 40%, while the population of those under 35 is expected to shrink by 13%.
Working Towards Solutions
As a leading real estate developer of residential properties on Long Island, Engel Burman takes its responsibility seriously to help meet these housing challenges. It is part of our commitment to Build Better Communities. As such, we have developed more than 5,000 homes and have another 1,200 units in the pipeline. These new units will be part of multifamily developments, some with workforce units, helping to address the critical shortage of housing, the diversity of housing options, and affordability.
55+/Active Adults/Empty Nesters
Many in this age group are looking to downsize their home, but not their lifestyle. They want to free themselves up from the chores, costs, and responsibilities of owning a single-family home. Maybe they want to reduce their property taxes or maybe they want to be part of the community of their peers. However, one thing they don’t want to do is leave their family and friends by moving out-of-state. It is imperative that they have options that give them what they want and allow them to stay close to those they love. Engel Burman has developed several communities that do just that.
The Seasons are condominium communities in East Meadow, Elwood, Massapequa, Plainview, and Seaford. A sixth community is currently under construction in Dix Hills and two more are planned to start this year in Commack and East Northport.
In 2021, we introduced another brand new rental community, The Brix in Uniondale. The Brix is geared towards young professionals, graduate students, medical residents, and others, looking for affordable apartments with a sense of community. It is in close proximity to Hofstra University, Adelphi University, and Molloy College, and shuttle service is available to these nearby colleges.
The Bristal Assisted Living communities have been a fixture in the region for more than 20 years. The Bristal provides best-in-class accommodations with compassionate and expert staff for daily assistance, including memory care.
For many Long Islanders, waterfront housing is an incentive to stay on Long Island. Its appeal extends across all ages from empty nesters to millennials to young adults.
Our new residential development in Long Beach will help meet these needs with the Isla Blue condominiums and The Breeze apartments. The plan includes a public space on the boardwalk, public dining options, sufficient parking for residents, and upgrades to some community services, enhancing the quality of life for all Long Beach residents.
As a real estate developer, builder, and manager, and as residents of Long Island ourselves, Engel Burman is working to do its part to provide a variety of exceptional residential housing options for those who wish to continue living and working on Long Island. We are driven by our vision to Build Better Communities, in the broader sense, by meeting the unique needs of each community, bringing value to each community, and being a good corporate citizen.