The affordable housing crisis is widely felt across New York State, and it is worsening. Staggeringly high rent and home prices, insufficient supply, persistent homelessness and source-of-income discrimination (SOI) are interconnected problems that demand a comprehensive statewide solution. It is disappointing that this will not be forthcoming through the Fiscal Year 2024 budget.
Enterprise Community Partners remains committed to working with stakeholders to alleviate the crisis. Important tools must remain on the table for discussion. This includes the Housing Assistance Voucher Program (HAVP), which had the broad support of tenant advocates, real estate industry representatives, and many legislators. HAVP would allow New Yorkers experiencing or at risk of homelessness statewide to find permanent housing.
It is also a necessity to address New York State’s clear undersupply of new housing. We urge lawmakers to continue to work together on a statewide plan for growth that incentivizes affordable housing and ensures that communities which have effectively sealed their borders via zoning and planning barriers are not able to continue doing so.
Enterprise also advocated for a total of $7 million to enforce New York’s fair housing laws. Source-of-income discrimination remains persistent statewide, threatening to lessen the impact of positive legislative and policy changes meant to increase housing access. While we appreciate that funding for this work remained steady, it is clearly insufficient.
We thank Governor Hochul and the Legislature for their focus on housing as a central issue in this year’s budget process, and for passing some measures that will have a positive impact. These include $391 million in enhanced rental arrears assistance for tenants in public and subsidized housing and steady funding levels on capital programs.
Throughout the remainder of the legislative session and beyond, we remain committed to finding solutions to our worsening affordable housing and homelessness crisis. We urge the Governor and Legislature to remain similarly committed.