City & State, May 15, 2023
When Gov. Kathy Hochul announced that a key part of her agenda this session would be spurring a statewide housing boom, a lot of ears perked up.
Easing the burden
Public housing still serves as the single biggest supplier of affordable housing in most municipalities, playing a vital role in the efforts of executives, legislators and advocates to expand affordable housing options across the state.
Howard Slatkin, the executive director at Citizens Housing and Planning Council, said that if NYCHA and other public housing authorities across the state are unable to address the massive backlog of rehabilitation work that needs to be done – and if they were to lose public housing units – it will offset gains made in other parts of the affordable housing equation.
“If you don’t save this quantity of housing, of affordable housing, anything else that we were to do on the affordable housing front, we’d get completely swallowed by the loss of these units,” Slatkin said. “It’s just such an enormous component of this pie that it’s not an ‘if’ – it’s a ‘how.’ … It’s been orchestrated long-term federal disinvestment in public housing that has led to this condition.”
Rhetorically, the positions staked out by various groups pushing to expand affordable housing sound very similar.
May 15, 2023