Addressing the need for affordable housing

Jamie DeLine

Originally published in News 10 on .

ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10)–Lawmakers and the governor agree that there is a lack of affordable housing in New York State. On Tuesday, Senate Republicans spoke about a plan they would like to see enacted— part of it involving eligibility requirements for rent stabilized apartments.

“When those units come up for renewal, if they are earning more than the area median income, they’re asked to vacate and make room for somebody else,” said Senator Jack Martins.

Another piece of legislation would make squatting, criminal trespass in the third degree.

“The bill that I’ve proposed is going to allow legal remedies to get these squatters out of the property and not treat them as tenants simply because they have wrongly approached this property, moved in, and now the landlord can’t get them out,” explained Senator Patricia Canzoneri-Fitzpatrick.

Republicans would also like to reinstate 421a, a tax incentive for new housing projects in New York City. However, Assemblymember Anna Kelles feels differently.

“I know that’s something that’s really being pushed in the city,” said Kelles. “So for me, I would just simply say I don’t think that should be considered without also including tenant protections.”


Kelles said she would like to see a housing access voucher program included in the final state budget.

“That one is similar to Section 8 housing, but we have across the state two, three, four, I’ve heard in some areas five-year waiting lists for Section 8 housing. This would create a sister program and augment and help people get into housing.”

The final budget is due next week.