Collapse of deal is “proof that too many lawmakers in Albany answer first and foremost to their real estate donors – not to their constituents.”
NEW YORK – Following Albany leaders’ failure to reach a deal on a housing package in the final hours of the state legislative session, Housing Justice for All released the following statement from Campaign Coordinator Cea Weaver:
“This is a total failure of leadership. In the face of a housing crisis that’s consuming New York and pushing working families out of their homes and out of the state, our so-called leaders threw up their hands rather than doing the hard work of negotiating. It’s a profile in cowardice and proof that too many lawmakers in Albany answer first and foremost to their real estate donors – not to their constituents.
Lawmakers may think they can spin their way out of this mess and point fingers at everybody else but themselves, but they’re not fooling anyone. Every single leader in Albany bears a share of the responsibility for this failure, including Speaker Carl Heastie and Majority Leader Andrea Stewart Cousins.
The supermajority in the legislature had an opportunity to respond to this moment of crisis by daring the Governor to veto a bill. Legislators in states with much thinner majorities like Minnesota have done so and delivered massive wins for their constituents. While Governor Hochul did everything she could to kill Good Cause over the past year, the choice to bend to her – and the real estate industry – ultimately lies with Carl Heastie and Andrea Stewart-Cousins. Legislative leadership blinked and folded.
Every tenant in New York State deserves basic protections from rent–gouging, harassment, and no-fault evictions. And every homeless New Yorker deserves an immediate pathway to stable housing. Good Cause Eviction, as drafted, and the Housing Access Voucher Program are the floor. We will not stop fighting until every New Yorker has a safe, stable, and affordable place to live.
The fact that Good Cause and the Housing Access Voucher Program got where they did – as leading priorities for Albany in negotiations this year – is proof of how far the tenant movement has come. The real estate lobby may have killed the bills for now, but they will never kill our determination to win.
Housing affordability consistently polls as a top issue of concern for New Yorkers. In next year’s election, voters will be going to the polls with record high-rent burdens, unstable housing, and in far too many cases, no housing at all. They will be looking for representation that addresses these foundational concerns. New York State’s Democratic supermajority must deliver for them.”
Housing Justice for All is a statewide coalition of more than 80 organizations representing tenants and homeless New Yorkers, united in our fight for housing as a human right.