New York Governor Kathy Hochul is facing opposition from municipal officials and progressives as she travels the state to drum up support for her $227 billion budget proposal to expand housing in the state. Hochul hopes that significantly increasing housing will help drive down costs and make housing and rents more affordable for New Yorkers.
The goal of the proposal is to expand available housing by 800,000 units in the next decade. Hochul hopes the measures she is backing in the budget will spur that process along. “Communities from Long Island up to the North Country up to Jamestown, we have not kept pace with the demand for housing,” she said at an event in Albany.
Hochul’s proposal offers a carrot and stick approach. She wants more funding to boost infrastructure for communities expanding housing, and she wants to be able to circumvent local zoning officials when they block qualified projects. “I want to be able to show communities we don’t have to be afraid of this, we should lean into this, because the communities that do are going to be the most prosperous,” she said.
However, opposition to the proposal has arisen from both sides of the political spectrum. Brooklyn Democratic state Sen. Jabari Brisport is calling for a provision to be included that would make it harder for landlords to evict tenants and raise rents, known as good cause eviction. Republican state Assemblyman Josh Jensen, who represents suburbs of Rochester, says more immediate help is needed for local governments with the impact on infrastructure that would come with more housing.
Hochul remains confident that an agreement can be reached, despite the opposition. “They all represent districts, Republican and Democrat, where their constituents are saying we can’t afford to live here. We can’t afford the rent,” she said.
Hochul will continue to tout her housing plan as she takes her housing tour next to Long Island, where the proposals could have the biggest impact and some of the most significant opposition. Housing and development remain thorny political issues for local governments, while renters have struggled with surging costs. However, Hochul hopes her proposals will help to alleviate these issues and make housing more affordable for all New Yorkers.
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