Stronger protections for renters in New York should be part of the broader debate over expanding housing across the state, advocates said Wednesday.
Gov. Kathy Hochul's plan for the new year to expand lower-cost housing would add 800,000 units over the coming years and make it easier for projects to get underway even if they do not meet local zoning requirements.
But even as Hochul pushes to address years of neglect in increasing the state's housing stock with the goal of adding more supply to reduce demand, advocates are worried lower-income renters are being left out.
“Unfortunately, the housing plan she proposed is at odds with this important principle, relying on a discredited model of giveaways to large developers," said the NYS Equity Agenda, a coalition of progressive and civil rights organizations that have backed equity provisions. "To address glaring racial and economic disparities in housing throughout our state, New York must invest in deeply and permanently affordable social housing and guarantee strong protections for all tenants."
Those proposals include measures that would make it easier for tenants to collectively purchase their own buildings when they go on sale and make it easier for land trust development through a fairer taxation method. The groups are also backing the so-called Good Cause Eviction measure, which is meant to make it harder for landlords to evict tenants and raise rents.
At the same time, the organizations are once again pushing for a public banking act, which is aimed at placing community-owned financial institutions in neighborhoods where they are lacking.
“Fortunately, New York can address the housing crisis by embracing bold solutions supported by community groups across the state," the groups said.