Long Island home builders seek essential status under Covid-19 rules


Long Island home builders are pressing the New York state government to follow the guidelines of other states and include residential construction in the Covid-19 essential work list.

“Every other state in the union allows for residential construction,” CBS New York quoted Mitch Pally of the Long Island Builders Institute as saying

Pally is seeking a May 15 resumption of home construction on Long Island, even though the region could be one of the last to un-PAUSE. Pally says suburban work can be done with safe social distancing.

“No interaction with the consumer, the ability to provide revenue, the ability to provide housing for people now. We look at that as separate and apart from whether Long Island can reopen,” Pally said.

Suffolk County mayors and town supervisors have also pressed the case with communications to the governo, asking to put 8,000 construction workers back on jobs

As long as it can be done safely and the construction workers and the people that supervise the construction workers make sure that all the protocols are followed in terms of wearing face masks,” the broadcaster quoted Huntington Town Supervisor Chad Lupinacci as saying

There are disparities in the existing rules. While affordable housing is considered essential, senior housing is not. Residential work is allowed with only one person on the job, but that can be unsafe in a different way, says builder Paulo Pironi.

“If, God forbid, somebody got hurt on a job site, there’s no one to actually call an ambulance or call for help,” as his projects are idled.

The buyer of one home is in limbo. “He has other people that need to move into his house, so he’s going to be on the street,” Pironi said.

The governor has said the first industries that open first will be the most essential with the least risk. Home builders on Long Island argue they fit both criteria, the broadcaster reported.


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