Nassau County Executive Laura Curran and Hofstra University last Friday hosted a conference titled “Jobs & Housing: Nassau’s Critical Connection,” featuring a moderated panel discussion with regional economic leaders and a presentation from Director of New York City Department of Planning (DCP) Marisa Lago about the vital connection between New York City and Long Island on issues of housing, transit and economic development.
This event was programmed as a follow-up to the New York City DCP’s release of “The Geography of Jobs report,” which was the first time that the NYC DCP has studied the entirety of the tristate region’s economy, laying out in black and white just how interconnected our local economies are. Curran also addressed efforts to revive plans for Amazon’s HQ2, making clear that Long Islanders would be poised to reap enormous benefits should Amazon decide to reinstate plans to move to Queens.
“What struck me was the shared vision regional leaders clearly have for the future: increase the number of good-paying jobs for our residents, provide housing options for residents across income levels and locate both near public transit,” said Curran. “Now we need to show the political courage to execute on that vision. With regards to Amazon, I support Governor Cuomo’s efforts to get Amazon to reconsider. This is a no-brainer for Nassau, and it addresses the goals we discussed at Hofstra: more high-paying jobs, more opportunities for our tech companies, growing the tax base, and bringing more young people to Long Island.”
“It was encouraging to see so many regional leaders and stakeholders come together to talk about how to harness our collective strengths to create a new model for sustainable, economic growth,” said Hofstra University president Stuart Rabinowitz. “Collaborative projects and solutions are vital to the region’s economic future and Hofstra University looks forward to continuing these efforts.”
“It is indisputable that the prosperity of our city and our region are tied together closely,” Department of City Planning Director Marisa Lago said. “Our dense urban centers are thriving, but to capitalize on this growth, we need to invest in housing and spur job creation near transit, both in the city and suburbs. DCP’s Geography of Jobs report spells this out clearly. We welcome our regional economic partners’ keen interest in using the report’s data to inform their housing and job creation efforts.”
“The Geography of Jobs” report shows a decline in the number of New Yorkers moving to Long Island.
During her presentation, Curran expressed excitement about communities across Nassau County capitalizing on proximity to the Long Island Railroad and embracing transit-oriented developments that would utilize capacity created through major capital investments. Examples addressed were Farmingdale, which has had great success with multiple housing developments near its train station, joining Mineola and Great Neck Plaza as go-to locations for those who want a direct commute and a downtown community feel. Additional mention was given to communities such as Hicksville, Westbury and Baldwin, which have embraced new projects and zoning reforms.
“There is great opportunity to change that reality and provide diversified, high quality housing and communities for all,” said Gwen O’Shea, president and CEO of the Community Development Corporation of Long Island.