A coalition of 17 groups including the New York Housing Conference is urging the Hochul administration to develop a new five-year housing capital plan for the state. The coalition wants the administration to invest $6 billion over five years in new affordable and supportive housing units as well as in anti-homelessness programs. 

That ask will grow to $13.5 billion over five years if President Biden’s “Build Back Better Act” does not get enacted into law.

According to the New York Housing Conference’s report, which underpins the coalition’s proposal, the state has a shortage of 650,000 homes for low-income renters.

“We need to keep investing in building more housing in New York and we want the state to keep investing in producing more affordable and supportive housing for those who are left out of the private market altogether,” Rachel Fee, executive director of the New York Housing Conference, told Capital Tonight. 

In her State of the State address last week, Gov. Kathy Hochul presented her own vision for housing, which Fee said the coalition supports.

“I’m encouraged by Gov. Hochul’s State of the State last week,” Fee said. “She thinks that that [her proposal] will be a $25 billion plan, so we’re waiting to see how much she proposes – if the state actually commits to that plan in her budget later this month."

According to the New York Housing Conference report, New York state is far behind other states when it comes to building affordable housing units as well as implementing strategies to take advantage of real estate opportunities created by the COVID-19 pandemic. 

“Texas, Florida, California. We really pale in comparison to them in terms of housing production," Fee said. "We’re actually more in line with North Carolina in terms of what we produce in housing each year. The challenges we face are cost, for sure, which is why we are asking the state to pitch in here.”

Another challenge is zoning.    

“It’s not easy to build multi-family housing which we do need across the state,” she said. “We’re asking the governor to really step up and look at solutions from both the budget perspective and legislative perspective across the board.”