“An embarrassment and a collective failure…our state’s leaders put their heads in the sand instead of reaching a deal”
NEW YORK – In response to the announcement of a conceptual framework on the state budget, Housing Justice for All, a statewide coalition of more than 80 organizations that represents tenants and homeless New Yorkers, released the following statement from Campaign Coordinator Cea Weaver:
“This budget is an embarrassment and a collective failure. In the face of a record affordability crisis that’s driving New Yorkers out of the state in droves, our state’s leaders put their heads in the sand instead of reaching a deal to protect millions of renters and provide a pathway to housing for our state’s homeless neighbors.
Governor Kathy Hochul began this year vowing to address New York’s severe housing crisis. Yet Governor Hochul’s Housing Compact on its own wouldn’t address affordability or the legitimate fear of displacement many New Yorkers hold. Tenants were clear: without strong rental assistance and protections from unjust evictions, Hochul’s plan simply would not deliver.
But rather than negotiate for these common-sense proposals to improve upon her plan, Governor Hochul dug in her heels and refused to even negotiate on a compromise with legislative leaders. It’s clear that Governor Hochul answers only to her deep-pocketed donors, not everyday New Yorkers.
In two days, many New Yorkers will have to make painful decisions about whether they can pay the rent or be forced out of their homes. Governor Hochul could have helped these New Yorkers have the peace of mind to know they could stay in their homes. Instead, the financial heartaches will continue.
In one small bright spot, the legislature negotiated for millions of dollars in rental relief for public housing and subsidized housing residents presently locked out of ERAP. But this move, while welcome and necessary, is a paltry replacement for what was promised to be a robust housing plan this budget season.
There are five weeks left in the legislative session and there is still time to get this right. Speaker Carl Heastie and Majority Leader Andrea Stewart Cousins must pass Good Cause eviction and the Housing Access Voucher Program in the coming month. New York’s tenants are watching – and we will remember.”