Affordable housing plan dropped from NY state budget

Lisa Tyson says she’s disappointed. The director of the Long Island Progressive Coalition supported Governor Kathy Hochul’s proposal to allow homeowners to transform parts of their residence into a separate living space, similar to an apartment. 

Tyson believed it was a way to make housing more available and affordable. 

"All across Long Island there are illegal accessory apartments on every street," Tyson said. "That’s not right. Legalize them. Bring them to code. Help seniors be able to afford their homes."

But Tyson and others who were in favor of Hochul’s proposal will have to go back to the drawing table after the Governor pulled the affordable housing proposal from her state budget on Thursday night. 

"We don’t need the Governor or New York City telling us how we’re going to live in our suburbs," said Supervisor Don Clavin with the Town of Hempstead. 

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On Friday, opponents celebrated what they call a victory. Those against the proposal argued these apartments would have taken away local control and put a strain on sewer systems, streets and schools. 

"It’s because of our united front that we won this fight to make sure we protect our home rule fight and the ability to control our communities through zoning," said County Supervisor Jennifer DeSena with the Town of North Hempstead. 

But for her part, Hochul cites a lack of support in the senate as to why she pulled the proposal.

In a statement, she said she will continue to invest $25 billion in affordable housing across the state including bringing units in New York City into compliance with building and safety codes.