Poll: Half of Long Islanders Leaving in 5 Years

How likely is it that you will move out of Long Island to an area with lower housing costs and property taxes in the next 5 years?

Nearly half of Long Islanders are likely move off LI in the next five years and more than half have had difficulty affording their rent or mortgage after the Great Recession, according to a recent poll.

Sixty two percent of LI residents say that a lack of affordable housing is a serious problem, 81 percent feel the same way about high property taxes and about a quarter of residents between the ages of 18 and 34 live with relatives as a result, the survey found.


“Unless there is a sudden and sustained increase in local household income, residents will look to leave as soon as the property market bounces back,” said Professor Leonie Huddy, director of Stony Brook University’s Center for Survey Research.

The center conducted the survey in partnership with the Long Island Index, an annual comprehensive study funded by the nonprofit Rauch Foundation. More than 800 of LI’s about 3 million residents were polled for the study this fall before Superstorm Sandy. The results were released Thursday.

“This survey highlights serious concerns for policymakers,” said Nancy Douzinas, president of the Rauch Foundation and publisher of the Long Island Index. “These concerns existed prior to Hurricane Sandy.”

Although the survey found local optimism has yet to return to pre-recession levels, the 49 percent of those polled who said they were very or somewhat likely to leave LI is down slightly from a high of 54 percent in 2006—well before the 2008 financial crisis that sparked the worst recession in a century.

Still, more than three-quarters are concerned about relatives moving off the Island and 76 percent worry that the so-called brain drain—the phenomenon of young people moving away, taking their skills with them—is a significant concern.

“As Washington debates the “fiscal cliff,” we’re at a cliff of our own right here on Long Island,” said Suffolk County Legis. Tom Cilmi (R-East Islip).

To read the full survey, “Long Island In The Aftermath Of The Great Recession: Some Optimism, But Many Still Want To Leave” visit www.longislandindex.org.

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