The April 1st budget deadline is gone, but some housing remains in the negotiations and tenants state their demands.
Housing Activists Raise a Ruckus in Albany as State Budget Talks Race to a Finish
Three busloads of activists and organizers from the Housing Justice for All coalition traveled to the state capitol to demand housing policies that benefit the many not the few.
Lachlan Hyatt Apr 1
Three busloads of activists and organizers traveled to Albany on Tuesday for a day of action advocating for Governor Hochul’s executive budget to include more funding for affordable housing initiatives across the state.
“Homes not jails!” chanted the dozens of activists demonstrating at the capital. “Oh the rent/ Oh the rent/ Oh the rent is too damn high!” They sang.
The activists were part of the statewide Housing Justice for All coalition and listed three concrete demands for the governor and the state legislature to enact: Pass stronger eviction protections, eliminate tax incentives for luxury real estate developers and expand rental assistance for people at risk of homelessness.
Affordable housing plays a big role in Hochul’s budget, along with the Legislature’s proposals. But one notable difference includes the governor’s proposed replacement to the current 421-a tax incentive for developers to build affordable housing. It’s set to expire this year, and Hochul proposed the 485-w program, which made some tweaks to the current tax break. However, lawmakers don’t want to debate the issue as part of the budget. They also have disagreement over converting commercial buildings to housing. Hochul has her own proposal, while lawmakers prefer to focus on expanding and funding the existing House Our Neighbors with Dignity Act passed last year.