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New York Gov. Hochul Continues to Push for Housing as Democratic Lawmakers Make Clear They Want a Different Approach

ALBANY – Gov. Hochul stood her ground Wednesday and touted her ambitious plan to address the state’s housing crisis after the Democratic-led Legislature released budget resolutions rejecting most of her plan a day earlier.

The governor traveled to Westchester on Wednesday to defend her proposals to help build 800,000 new housing units over the next decade, as lawmakers made clear they are considering a very different approach.

“These are real human problems. It would be much easier to say that someone should fix that one day… But that’s not who we are,” the governor said during the event at the Business Council of Westchester in Rye Brook.

“This is going to be good. We’re going to look back and say that we didn’t just meet the moment, we exceeded it.”

Hochul hosted a community roundtable with business leaders and elected officials from across the Hudson Valley to discuss his proposed New York Housing Compact after the Senate and Assembly unveiled budget resolutions that counter most of his plan.

The proposals from the Democratic-led Legislature reject the governor’s plan to require new housing and set construction targets statewide, as well as Hochul’s plan to allow a state panel to overturn local zoning decisions.

“We certainly believe that housing construction is important, we believe that affordability is important, and we believe that we can do it primarily with incentives and…community involvement,” Senate Majority Leader told reporters. Andrea Stewart-Cousins ​​(D-Yonkers). Albany.

Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins

The Senate and Assembly want to provide $500 million in incentives to encourage new development instead of Hochul’s plan to require the southern suburbs of the state and the city to increase their housing stock by 3% every three years.

Upstate cities would have to meet a growth target of 1% every three years under the governor’s proposal.

Projects with affordable housing components that are denied a permit in municipalities that are not meeting their growth targets may be eligible for state-backed “fast track” approval.

Hochul has toured the state in recent weeks following the release of his $227 billion budget plan last month to supplement his housing plan and win support from local leaders.

Stewart-Cousins ​​said that while she and others at her conference agree with the governor’s intent, they want to take a different approach.

“For us who want what the governor wants, we believe there may be a more collaborative and inclusive way to achieve it,” Stewart-Cousins ​​said. “Now, ultimately, who knows what the resolution will be. But the involvement of local communities as we get there is extremely important. “

The Senate and Assembly budget resolutions also rejected any new property tax breaks for developers that include affordable units, a lapsed reduction formerly known as 421a, and included long-sought tenant protections that weren’t in the Senate’s initial plan. governor.

Hochul and legislative leaders are now entering an intense period of negotiations before the state budget deadline at the end of the month.

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