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Home » News » Local government wants control over state’s housing plan: Will they get it?

Local government wants control over state’s housing plan: Will they get it?

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  • Staff Report 

Local government officials are calling for more incentives and community input in the statewide housing plan, which is intensifying as the budget negotiations proceed this week.

The Association of Towns and the New York Conference of Mayors, which represent town, city, and village governments, have welcomed the housing provisions proposed by state lawmakers.

They support an incentive-heavy approach that includes additional funding for infrastructure, such as water and sewer, to accommodate the potential housing influx.

The groups praised the Senate and Assembly plans for their strong incentives, which are stronger than those offered in other states. Importantly, the funding provided in the proposals will reward municipalities that have been leading the way in achieving housing growth, while enabling more local governments to do the same.

Meanwhile, Governor Kathy Hochul wants a housing plan to be adopted as part of the state budget to reduce costs for renters and first-time buyers while raising supply. However, the proposal has raised questions for local governments when it comes to control over building. Hochul has proposed measures that would allow qualifying projects for housing to move forward over local objections. Republican lawmakers and suburban officials have criticized the effort as a way of superseding local zoning.

On the other hand, progressive advocates have urged Hochul and lawmakers to include provisions meant to aid low-income tenants. That includes making it harder to evict tenants or raise their rents. Sochie Nnaemeka, the state director of the Working Families Party, stated that while there is no single solution to the housing crisis, there are proposals currently on the table that would protect tenants from exorbitant rent increases, stem the rising tide of evictions, and end outdated zoning laws that have foreclosed on opportunities for generations of Black, brown, and working-class New Yorkers.