A plan to add tens of thousands of affordable homes
Ms. Hochul said the state would pursue a $25 billion plan to build or preserve 100,000 affordable homes, including 10,000 homes that would include services for people at risk of homelessness.
Ms. Hochul also wants to allow bigger apartment buildings and more density around transit lines like the Long Island Rail Road. That could be significant in many New York City suburbs, which have long been seen as having some of the most onerous restrictions on development in the nation.
Her plan calls for legalizing many basement and garage homes, replacing a popular tax incentive that encourages developers to build affordable housing with one that targets lower-income residents, making it easier to convert hotels and offices to housing and preventing landlords from rejecting tenants because of their criminal background.
The plans met with mixed reaction. “Gov. Hochul’s vision is a great first step in fighting our housing crisis,” said Rachel Fee, executive director of the New York Housing Conference, a nonprofit group.
But Cea Weaver, campaign coordinator for Housing Justice for All, called the plan an “unconscionable abdication of responsibility,” in part because it did not include stronger barriers to eviction and eliminate tax breaks for developers.
Ms. Hochul announced several measures to help people who cycle in and out of homelessness.
She promised 7,000 new units of supportive housing, which includes services for people with mental illness and addiction, and the preservation of 3,000 others, expanding a Cuomo-era plan. “It’s going to make a real impact on homelessness,” said Laura Mascuch, executive director of the Supportive Housing Network of New York.
The governor plans to beef up outreach to people living in streets and subways. But homeless people and their advocates say that outreach cannot succeed unless people are offered alternatives to widely reviled homeless shelters. “There has to be a place for people to go,” said Shelly Nortz, deputy executive director for policy with the Coalition for the Homeless.
By Andy Newman and Mihir Zaveri