Gov. Hochul expands affordable housing

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ALBANY, NY (WENY) — Following the pandemic, New York continues to suffer from a housing crisis. Gov. Kathy Hochul recently signed a legislative package that would promote and expand affordable housing.

Monday, she also announced new housing developments in Eastern and Western New York. Some experts said increasing the housing supply is important, but it doesn’t by itself solve the state’s affordable housing issues.

“In many cases, very low-income people simply can’t afford the basic costs of operating a housing unit,” said Alex Schwartz, Professor of Urban Policy at the New School.

Schwartz said this is where housing subsidies come in. A housing subsidy is government sponsored economic assistance aimed towards relieving housing costs and expenses.

Jenny Schuetz, Senior Fellow at Brookings Metro, said subsidies are essential.

“Incomes just haven’t kept up with the cost of rent and housing and even things like utilities. So, low income and modern income households will need to have some kind of assistance,” she said.

The housing legislative package essentially includes expansions for housing and rental affordability programs, and to allow the maximum rental assistance subsidies to be collected for rent regulated housing. It also further protects tenants against hazardous conditions and mismanages properties.

Since the pandemic where people were working from home, Schuetz said there is a higher demand for housing and increasing the housing supply will go a long way in addressing housing affordability.

“The high demand parts of the state haven’t been building enough housing to keep up with population growth and job growth for quite a long time,” she said.


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