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Community Development


2021 Down Payment Assistance Program Now Open!

ASSISTANCE AVAILABLE: up to $14,000 in grant funds is available to put towards the purchaser’s down payment. The program does not fund closing costs.

ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA: An Applicant Must:

  1. Be a First-Time Homebuyer (cannot have owned a home during the 3 year period immediately prior to the purchase of a residence with HOME funding). This requirement will be waived for U.S. military veterans possessing a DD-214, verifying honorable service.
  2. Have a Total Household Income within the HUD Guidelines (see below): 2021 HUD INCOME GUIDELINES:
    Household Size Maximum Allowable Income* Minimum Annual Income
    1 $70,950 $40,000
    2 $81,050 $40,000
    3 $91,150 $40,000
    4 $101,300 $40,000
    5 $109,450 $40,000
    6 $117,550 $40,000
    7 $125,650 $40,000
    8 or more $133,750 $40,000
  3. Occupy the property as a principal residence.
  4. Not enter into a contract of sale prior to being awarded a purchaser certificate from Suffolk County Community Development.
  5. Attend mortgage counseling at a HUD certified not-for-profit housing agency.
  6. Have at least a $3,000 in the bank at the time of application.
  7. Have a documented minimum annual household income of at least $40,000 and be able to obtain a mortgage.

ELIGIBLE HOME PURCHASE AREA:

Applicants must purchase a lead-based paint free home within the Suffolk County HOME Consortium area, which includes:

  • Town of East Hampton - and the Village of Sag Harbor.
  • Town of Huntington - the entire town.
  • Town of Riverhead - the entire town.
  • Town of Smithtown - and the Village of the Branch.
  • Town of Southampton - and the Villages of Sag Harbor, Southampton, Westhampton Beach and Westhampton Dunes.
  • Town of Southold - and the Village of Greenport
  • Town of Shelter Island - excluding incorporated villages.

Please note that the Town of Islip, Town of Babylon, and the Town of Brookhaven are NOT part of the Suffolk County Consortium. Purchased properties cannot be located within these towns.

PROPERTY VALUE LIMIT: The maximum appraised value of a house cannot exceed $404,000 for existing housing or $413,000 for new construction.

ELIGIBLE HOUSING: Single family homes, condominiums, cooperative apartments (co-ops), newly constructed or already built. Prior to sale, any housing must be: (1) owner-occupied, (2) occupied by the purchaser as a tenant or (3) vacant.

Restrictions:

The Following are Not Allowed:

  • Private Mortgages
  • Short Sales
  • Foreclosures or Bank Owned Properties
  • Non-Occupant Co-Borrowers/Co-Signers/Guarantors are not permitted
  • Private Mortgages
  • 100% financing
  • Interest Only Mortgages
  • Adjustable Rate Mortgages
  • “No Doc” Loans
  • No Income Check Loans
  • 80/20 Loans

Applications accepted on a first-come, first-served basis.

Applications are available as of January 29, 2021 and must be submitted by April 15, 2021.

Funding is limited.

Applications can also be downloaded from the Suffolk County web site at:

www.scdownpayment.com

Suffolk County Community Development Office
PO Box 6100
H. Lee Dennison Building
100 Veterans Highway Hauppauge, NY 11788

Public Notice – 2019 CAPER:

PUBLIC HEARING NOTICE
SUFFOLK COUNTY CONSORTIUM
CONSOLIDATED ANNUAL
PERFORMANCE AND EVALUATION
REPORT (CAPER)

Suffolk County is required by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to annually submit a Consolidated Annual Performance and Evaluation Report (CAPER).  This report provides an assessment of the County’s progress in carrying out its five-year strategic plan and its one-year action plan for the following HUD-funded programs:  the Community Development Block Grant Program (CDBG); the HOME Investment Partnerships Program (HOME); and the Emergency Solutions Grant Program (ESG).  The purpose of this notice is to make the CAPER available to the public for comments prior to its submittal to HUD.

The report will be available for a 15-day comment period beginning Wednesday March 10, 2021 through Thursday March 25, 2021, between the hours of 9:30 A.M. and 4:30 P.M. at the H. Lee Dennison Building, 2nd floor, 100 Veterans Memorial Hwy, Hauppauge, N.Y. 11788 in the Suffolk County Community Development Office and online at: https://suffolkcountyny.gov/Departments/Economic-Development-and-Planning/Real-Estate/Community-Development/Community-Development-Block-Grant

Comments on the report should be submitted in writing to the Suffolk County Community Development Department, Att: Justin Hornung, Justin.Hornung@suffolkcountyny.gov no later than 4 PM on March 25, 2021.


Community Development Resources:

The Suffolk County Community Development Office, a unit within the Department of Economic Development and Planning, is specifically charged with developing projects designed to benefit persons of low and moderate incomes. Community Development is also charged with preventing or eliminating areas of slum or blight within our communities and assisting areas with urgent needs.

The Suffolk County Community Development Office administers these projects through the Suffolk County Community Development Consortium which includes 11 separate municipalities. Member communities include:

  • Town of East Hampton
  • Town of Riverhead
  • Town of Shelter Island
  • Town of Smithtown
  • Town of Southampton
  • Town of Southold
  • Village of Sag Harbor
  • Village of Southampton
  • Village of The Branch
  • Village of Westhampton Beach
  • Village of Westhampton Dunes
  • Village of Greenport

The Town of Huntington participates with the County in the HOME Investment Partnerships Program (HOME) only.

The activities of the Suffolk County Community Development Office are funded by the Federal Government through various programs administered by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).

HUD funding for the 2018 program Year is as follows:

Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) $1,207,904
HOME Investment Partnership Program $726,913
Emergency Solutions Grant (ESG) $262,918

Suffolk County receives federal entitlement funds under the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Program, the HOME Investment Partnerships (HOME) Program and the Emergency Shelter Grant Program (ESG). In connection with the receipt of those funds, Suffolk County is required to submit a 5 Year Consolidated Plan to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. A key component of the 5 Year Consolidated Plan is public comment and input.

The Consolidated Plan for Suffolk County, New York, represents a new 5 year plan covering the program years from 2015 to 2019, consolidating the CDBG, HOME and ESG entitlement funding into one submission. It has been prepared in accordance with 24CFR Part 91.

As a requirement of receiving Federal funds, Suffolk County has recently completed the final draft of its Analysis to Impediment to Fair Housing Choice (AI). The goal of this analysis is to identify a process to affirmatively further fair housing through an examination of the fair housing delivery system, housing transactions and housing patterns.

Getting ready for a vacation? If you plan to use a popular vacation rental website or application (app), such as, AirBnB, HomeAway, or VRBO to find your next getaway, beware. Cybercriminals are using these services to trick you and steal your money.

How Does It Work?
The scammers often post completely fake rental listings using images they find on the internet, or they steal pictures and property details from legitimate rental listings to create their own listing with the scammer’s contact information. When someone inquires about a fake listing, the scammer will request a security deposit or a portion of the full rental price as a down payment.

Once the scammer has your money, they’ll cancel the reservation at the last minute, or you will arrive at your vacation home to find that the property is already booked, or that the property doesn’t even exist.

How Do I Know It's a Scam?
Don’t let the scammers ruin your vacation. Remember the following tips when you’re booking your next vacation rental online:

  • Book official. Only use reputable websites that offer protection against fraud and have a secure payment portal.
  • Make sure that the property exists. Search for the property on Google Maps or another mapping service. If you know someone in the area that you will be visiting, ask them to check out the property for you. Scammers might use an address that does not exist, or use the address of a random company, vacant building, or parking lot.
  • Research the rental listing. Search online for the property owner’s name and address, and look for images of the property, before you make a deposit. If you find multiple listings with different contact information, reconsider booking the property.
  • Read the reviews. If a property has multiple negative reviews, or doesn’t have any reviews, consider a different property.
  • Only make payments through the official website for the rental listing. Scammers often try to get you to pay with a check, get you to wire them money directly, or use services like MoneyGram or Western Union to make a payment.

Using free public WiFi at a coffee shop or airport hot spot is great for convenience, but bad for security. Most free access points do not make use of encryption. This is done for convenience and ease of access. If every person had to ask the barista or gate attendant for the WiFi key, it would get unruly, and no actual work would get done.

Keep in mind that you are sharing those wireless airwaves with anyone that is within range of your wireless communications.

There is technology out there that allows you to view the wireless computer communications that are within range of your device.

To the bad guys, this technology lets them see what you are doing, the data you are passing to websites, and your usernames and passwords.

UNLESS

  • You are on websites with 'https' ... the little S is for secure. Its like speaking a language that only two people can understand (your computer, and the website).
  • You are using VPN software to encrypt all your wireless communications
  • You are using a wireless device from your cellular phone provider, 3G or 4G network access... This is not WiFi, and is not subject to WiFi Security Policies

Using a VPN client to encrypt and route your wireless communications allows you to create a secure channel for your computer to communicate.

Even if you are accessing a website without HTTPS, your communication to that website is secured through your VPN connection. If there are any bad guys around you listening in on your wifi traffic, it will be safe.

VPN stands for Virtual Private Network. It is good practice to use a VPN when in a public networking spot such as wifi hot spots. This will create a virtual tunnel for your computer to communicate securely through the public network.

Before traveling for work, consult with your IT department about their data security policies when on the road, how to setup your VPN connection (if your company has VPN access), or how to obtain a 3G/4G cellular network card.

You know that little pop-up prompting you to restart your computer for a software update? The one that only seems to come up when you’re in the middle of something important? As annoying as it may seem, this notification is actually a valuable asset to your cybersecurity. So, before you click the “Later” option, let’s take a closer look!

What is a software update?
A software update is a new and improved version of a program, application, or operating system that you are already using. The update may include new features, bug fixes, or important security patches.

Why are updates important for cybersecurity?
Do you ever wonder how secure the programs installed on your device are? Cybercriminals do. They look for cracks in the security of programs and use these vulnerabilities to gain access to your device. With this access, they could enable a keylogger to track what you type, steal confidential information, or even install ransomware to lock you out of your files and demand payment for access. Developers help prevent this by fixing vulnerabilities as soon as possible. These fixes are included in software updates. Meaning, the longer you wait to install the update, the longer your system is at risk.

How do I check for software updates?
Any device that runs software, be it a computer, tablet, or even a smart tv, can release updates. Most software will prompt you when an update is available, but it’s good practice to check periodically. Here is a general guide to checking for updates on common platforms:

Mac System Updates (for macOS Catalina)

  1. Open the Apple menu and select About this Mac.
  2. Click Software Updates....
  3. If any are available, you will have the option to install it.

Windows System Updates (for Windows 10)

  1. Open the start menu and select Settings.
  2. Select Update & Security Settings then select Windows Update.
  3. Click Check for Updates. If any are available, you will have the option to install it.

iOS Updates

  1. Open the Settings app and tap General.
  2. Tap Software Update.
  3. If any are available, you will have the option to install it.

Android Updates (for most devices running Android 10 or higher)

  1. Open the Settings app and go to the System section.
  2. Tap About Phone. (If this is not an option, skip to step 3.)
  3. Tap System Updates.
  4. Tap Check for Update. If any are available, you will have the option to install it.

Don’t see what you’re looking for? Please consult the user manual or online support for your specific device.

Visit any website these days and it’s very likely that you will be viewing ads as well. Sometimes these ads can be tempting, with many offering sales, promotions, or freebies to attract more clicks. Ads on certain websites can even be targeted specifically to you based on past browsing history, making you even more likely to click!

Remember this: just because you are on a reputable, well-known website, it does not mean that the ads on the website are safe to click as well.

How adspace can become infected: Advertisers do not sell their ads to websites one at a time. Websites that want to make money sell their advertising space to an ad network. Advertisers sign contracts with that ad network which then displays the ads on the participating websites. The ad network sits in the middle between the advertisers and the websites and manages the traffic and the payments.

Cybercriminals can take advantage of this system by fooling the ad networks into thinking they are a legit advertiser, but the ads which are displayed on major websites can be poisoned. If you browse to a page with a poisoned ad on it, that is enough to run the risk your PC will be encrypted with ransomware, which can hold your computer or your entire network hostage until you pay the cybercriminal a ransom.

Tips to prevent the effect of harmful ads:

  • Disable Adobe Flash on your computer - or at least set the Adobe Flash plug-in to "click-to-play" mode - which can block the automatic infections.
  • Keep up-to-date with all the security patches and install them as soon as they come out.
  • Download and install a reputable ad blocker plug-in for your browser. These prevent the ads from being displayed in your browser to start with. These ad blockers are getting very popular with hundreds of millions of people using them.

What is sensitive information? Sensitive information is privileged information which – if compromised through alteration, corruption, loss, misuse, or unauthorized disclosure – could cause serious harm to an individual or organization. You must always give the highest level of protection to privileged information. Here we discuss Personally Identifiable Information, or PII.

 

What is Personally Identifiable Information? For the purpose of data protection, PII is defined as: any instance of an individual’s first name (or first initial) plus the last name, and any one of twenty-nine additional confidential items.

An example of these twenty-nine additional confidential items include: Social Security number, driver license, credit card number and expiration date, date or place of birth, wage and salary information, vehicle identifiers including license plate numbers, and medical history.

Is it PII? They key to remember is, if the information can be used to uniquely identify a specific individual using non-public information, it’s considered PII and must be protected.

  • Example: John Smith was born on January 1, 1965. Which listing below would be the example of PII?
    1. John Smith – DOB 1/1/196
    2. John S. – DOB 1/1/1965
    3. John Smith – DOB 1/1/xxxx
  • The answer is A. B and C are not examples of PII on their own.

Employees who do not take care of sensitive information can lead their organizations into fines, increased operating costs, loss of customer confidence, and even more governmental regulation. Do your part to keep your sensitive information safe at all times.

With the overwhelming popularity of always-listening devices such as Alexa, Google Home, and smartphones, you’ve probably heard stories of these devices joining in on conversations without being prompted. Perhaps it’s even happened to you!

While this idea can be alarming and unsettling, there are ways to protect your private information, and conversations, from these always-listening devices. To help you stay safe from these devices, here are some tips:

  • Review and delete voice recordings: Your device will store your search and activity history to create a customized experience for you. However, you can review and delete these recordings from the device of your choice in order to protect your privacy.
  • Mute the microphone: You can mute your microphone to ensure that your device is not listening and recording when you are not using it. The recording capabilities will remain off until you turn them back on.
  • Don’t link accounts with sensitive information to your device: If you have any accounts containing your sensitive information in them, it is best not to link those accounts to your device. This will keep your sensitive information secure from potential data breaches.
  • Change the settings to automatically manage data stored by the device: Personally managing what data is being linked with your account will give you more control on the information that is being stored by your device and will save you time when deleting your history.
  • Turn off your device when you’re away: When in doubt, turn it off. If your device does not have a power button, simply unplug it.

By creating a habit of unplugging and deleting voice recordings from these always-listening devices, you can help to make sure that there is an extra layer of protection between your always-listening device and your private information.

Suffolk County Government

H. Lee Dennison Bldg

100 Veterans Memorial Hwy
P.O. Box 6100
Hauppauge, NY 11788

Riverhead County Center

County Road 51
Riverhead, NY 11901