State’s Housing Policy Changes Draw Mixed Reactions from RE Industry and Housing/Tenant Advocacy Groups

A clear example of the compromise agreements is that some groups say the housing policy changes do not go far enough, while others say they are too restrictive.

State’s Housing Policy Changes Draw Mixed Reactions from RE Industry and Housing/Tenant Advocacy Groups
 One of the key reasons for the New York State budget blowing past the April 1 deadline was disagreements on housing policy between the governor, the State Assembly and the State Senate.

WHITE PLAINS—The reaction from real estate and landlord organizations and tenant advocacy groups was mixed on the housing policy changes and initiatives negotiated by Gov. Kathy Hochul and state legislative leaders in the final Fiscal Year 2025 Enacted State Budget approved on April 20.

A clear example of the compromise agreements is that some groups say the housing policy changes do not go far enough, while others say they are too restrictive.

To highlight the various views, the following are statements from some industry and political leaders on the housing policy measures included in the state budget:

Leah Caro
HGAR Legislative Committee

“The New York State budget is a win for Realtors, homebuyers, landlords, tenants and investors in the Hudson Valley and New York City. Our Realtors want to make sure that tenants have protections, but not at the cost of diminished living conditions because landlords can't afford to maintain their properties.  The final “good cause eviction” is well-balanced and we appreciate the thoughtfulness of our Senators, Assemblypersons, and the governor who were active listeners to our input.”

Matt Engel
HGAR Legislative Committee

“For the first time in a while the state budget negotiations included discussions on the serious financial issues facing rent-regulated housing. I was disheartened to see that the final budget deal failed to address this issue in a significant way. While the increase on individual apartment improvement caps makes sense, the lack of a change to the amortization schedule results in the same poor return on investment for owners who are in desperate need of relief. Rising costs on everything, but most notably insurance, have devastated an aging housing stock that is already strained to survive. Owners of rent-regulated housing in the Bronx are already underwater and if they are not, they will be there soon.”

New York State Association of Realtors

“NYSAR applauds the new state budget as a victory for Realtors because it includes multiple incentives for residential development across New York State. We are hopeful this helps mitigate the historically and chronically low inventory of homes for sale and rental units. The budget also includes additional protections for renters with significant improvements over earlier proposed draconian tenant eviction rules. The so-called “good cause” provisions now include an “opt-in” provision outside of New York City, a rent increase cap of 10% or 5% plus CPI, whichever is lower, and exemptions for smaller property owners. Not included in the state budget is NYSAR’s first-time homebuyers’ incentive or our co-op purchase transparency bill. NYSAR will focus its advocacy during the remaining days of this year’s legislative session on these and other high-priority Realtor issues. NYSAR thanks the more than 400 members who came to Albany on March 27 to advocate on many of the topics addressed in the new state budget. Their voices made a difference in the outcome.”

Welcome Home Westchester

Since its inception, the Welcome Home Westchester campaign has focused on advancing solutions to Westchester’s critical housing shortage—a crisis that continues to threaten our businesses and nonprofits, our workers, and our communities. This year’s New York State budget contains some important elements designed to encourage the construction of housing in New York City and to incentivize our suburban communities to embrace a pro-housing ethos. Unfortunately, the budget falls well short of needed statewide efforts and lacks many straightforward elements advanced in neighboring states. Incentives and inducements are important. However, until Albany works to address overly restrictive and antiquated zoning laws (most prevalent in suburban communities such as Westchester) that are designed to discourage housing development and are subject to easy manipulation by a hyper-localized vocal minority, the housing shortage will not abate. Most notably, that means a reformed SEQRA to provide certainty for high-value housing projects, a statewide push for comprehensive plans which include a robust housing element, and a focused approach to transit-oriented development. Where implemented, these solutions have been well studied by lawmakers and academics and share a track record of success. Welcome Home Westchester will continue its efforts to engage with our state lawmakers even as it works directly with our local communities to advance practical housing solutions and champion worthwhile projects. New York’s failure to come to terms with this fundamental issue is costing us businesses, talent, and much-needed tax revenue and we are slipping further behind our peers. Now is not the time to claim victory and move on. Important work remains.”

Housing Justice for All (A statewide coalition representing 80 tenant and homeless organizations)
Cea Weaver, Coalition Director

“Governor Hochul did not solve the housing crisis—instead she pushed through a housing deal written by the real estate industry to ensure they keep getting richer off the backs of hardworking tenants. Now, millions of renters across the state will struggle to keep a roof over their heads as rents and evictions continue to rise. Despite hard-fought efforts by tenant allies in the legislature to protect renters, Governor Hochul’s Good Cause Eviction is so full of holes that landlords will drive a fleet through it. Millions of families around the state will be excluded entirely and few tenants eligible for the protections will be able to exercise their rights. Not only does this budget fail to spend a single dollar to help homeless New Yorkers gain stable housing, it also puts a target on the backs of long-time rent-stabilized tenants, incentivizing landlords to force elderly New Yorkers out of their homes and onto the streets. New York’s housing crisis will continue—for now. But tenants and homeless New Yorkers will keep fighting together, in the legislature, in the streets, and at the ballot box, for the housing stability that all New Yorkers deserve.”

New York City Mayor Eric Adams

“When we came into office two years ago, we had a mission: protect public safety, rebuild our economy, and make this city more livable for hardworking New Yorkers. Making our city more livable means building more affordable housing for more people. We are proud of our administration's progress on building a record number of affordable homes last year, and thanks to Governor Hochul and our partners in Albany, we can now go even further. We had one simple message for our partners in Albany: let us build —and they listened. With this new set of proposals slated to become law, including all of our legislative priorities, we can do just that and begin to build ourselves out of this housing crisis.”

New York City Council Speaker Adrienne Adams

 “New Yorkers are facing a severe housing shortage that demands urgent and comprehensive action to ensure they can afford to remain in their homes. Through the adopted state budget, New York City will now be better positioned to build more affordable homes and convert commercial buildings into housing. We appreciate the work of our partners in state government and all stakeholders who have contributed to advancing this budget."

New York State Homes and Community Renewal
Commissioner RuthAnne Visnauskas

“Governor Hochul’s commitment to housing is unmatched. These groundbreaking measures provide solutions that have eluded New York for generations. The policies and hundreds of millions of dollars in new funding included in this budget will jumpstart the production of housing, protect the ability of tenants and homeowners to live safely and affordably in the communities of their choice, and better enable housing developers and localities across the state to provide the homes that New Yorkers desperately need. While we celebrate this accomplishment, we also understand this represents one of the many steps it will take to adequately address the housing affordability crisis and we look forward to a continued partnership with the legislature to come up with long-term solutions.”

NY Building Congress President & CEO Carlo A. Scissura

“With the passage of the FY25 budget, the governor and the legislature have demonstrated their commitment to breaking down barriers to affordable residential development and tackling New York’s housing crisis head-on. Last year, New York City alone saw annual projections for new units staggeringly drop from 30,000 to just over 11,000. By allocating funding to the Affordable Neighborhoods for New Yorkers program and enabling the removal of antiquated barriers on ADUs and the 12 FAR cap, the state will be able to build housing that New Yorkers can actually afford to live in while also creating good-paying job opportunities for the workers who build and maintain it. On behalf of the Building Congress, I am proud to say that our members are ready to get shovels in the ground to build our way to a more affordable, more equitable future, and we applaud the governor for taking this effort through the finish line.”

New York Housing Conference Executive Director Rachel Fee

“This budget is a significant achievement for affordability, livability and opportunity for New Yorkers. We commend Governor Hochul and the State Legislature for advancing solutions to New York’s affordable housing crisis by enacting various new policies and programs relating to tax, zoning and budget resources that will help expand our housing supply. The New York Housing Conference will continue to work alongside our partners in government to build on this work until every New Yorker has access to the safe, decent and affordable housing they deserve.”

Queens Borough President Donovan Richards Jr.

“There’s only one way out of the affordable housing crisis our city faces—building. I’m proud that Queens continues to lead New York City in affordable housing production, but with countless families living on the sharp edge of poverty, it’s never been clearer that much more must be done to grow our affordable housing stock. I’m deeply grateful to Governor Hochul for her commitment to building and preserving affordable housing in Queens and all across the state. I look forward to our continued partnership with her administration as we move with the urgency of now to rapidly expand our housing stock.”

Manhattan Borough President Mark Levine

“New York City could not wait a moment longer to address our housing crisis. The compromise included in this year’s budget includes affordability provisions, tenant protections, and strong labor protections—all elements that will help create new housing while ensuring stability for New Yorkers. We have more work to do, but this is an important step on the road to remedying our housing crisis. Thank you to the governor, the legislature, and everyone who worked to pass a budget that lays the groundwork for a more equitable and sustainable housing future for generations to come.”

Bronx Borough President Vanessa L. Gibson

“I want to thank Governor Kathy Hochul and the State Legislature for demonstrating their commitment to housing equity by prioritizing policies that increase our housing stock but also protect existing tenants and homeowners in our state. Amid our current housing crisis, it is imperative that we ensure our residents have access to affordable, safe and quality housing so they can benefit from the sunshine of opportunities that our state can provide to them and their families.”

Citizens Housing & Planning Council
Executive Director Howard Slatkin

“This year’s state budget agreement puts New York on a footing to make meaningful headway against our housing supply and affordability crisis. Only by adding mixed-income rental housing throughout New York City and the region will we be able to address housing insecurity and unaffordability. The next necessary step will be action from the city to address urgent housing needs, including zoning reforms like the City of Yes for Housing Opportunity, and launching a basement apartment legalization program. We appreciate the governor’s steadfast advocacy of solutions that get at the root causes of our housing problems.”

New York State Association for Affordable
Housing CEO and President Jolie Milstein

“This budget furthers the commitment Governor Hochul and the State Legislature made to ensure that all New Yorkers have access to safe, decent, and affordable housing. It maintains crucial capital funding levels and delivers new first-time initiatives to increase the housing supply. It also removes barriers to affordable housing production by addressing insurance discrimination, lifting limiting zoning requirements in New York City, and furthering needed tax incentives in exchange for providing tenants with long-term affordability. There is no single solution to solving the statewide housing supply crisis, but this budget clears prohibitive policies, and is a significant step forward that we look forward to working with the governor and lawmakers to build upon.”

The Community Preservation Corporation
President and CEO Rafael Cestero

“I applaud the state's budget deal, which will equip New York City and state with the tools needed to jumpstart a new wave of housing development. The new 485-x incentive, in addition to the other housing initiatives in the deal, comes not a moment too soon, and will finally get more homes built for New Yorkers. While there’s more work to do, I am encouraged to see our leaders in Albany taking needed action to address this historic housing crisis.”

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