State rent subsidy proposal gaining momentum

Originally published in Politico

In the midst of a raft of hotly-contested housing issues in Albany this legislative session — from “good cause” eviction to a new version of 421-a to legalizing accessory dwelling units — is a proposal with relatively broad support to create a new state-funded rental subsidy, known as the Housing Access Voucher Program.

The proposal would establish a Section 8-style rental voucher for New Yorkers who are homeless and those on the verge of eviction. Proponents say it would offer critical longer-term support to people struggling to afford housing, particularly as New York continues to experience economic strain coming out of the pandemic. The measure — supported by groups ranging from VOCAL-NY to the Real Estate Board of New York — appears to be gaining momentum: Both the state Senate and Assembly included $250 million to establish the program in their one-house budget resolutions last week.