Letter from Michael J. Borges
Housing Crisis Plan Is Needed
The 2024-25 Executive Budget fails to address both the affordability and availability of housing in the state and in rural communities.
Governor Kathy Hochul’s previous budget proposal at least included ambitious and farsighted initiatives to address the housing crisis. This year the pendulum has swung all the way back, with a lackluster set of programs that mostly address vacant state-owned properties and New York City, while neglecting the rest of the state.
In November 2023, the Rural Housing Coalition commissioned a Marist Poll that showed 73 percent of New Yorkers believe addressing the housing crisis is a priority in their community, and 71 percent believe the state doesn’t provide enough funding to address the problem. Yet the governor’s proposed budget cuts funding for programs serving disabled and elderly homeowners, cuts funding for the rural preservation program, and cuts funding to build small affordable rental developments that bring housing relief to upstate communities.
How could the governor cut funding for these vital programs in the midst of a housing crisis and ignore New Yorkers from all over the state who believe housing should be a priority for policymakers?
We urge members of the New York State Senate and Assembly to reverse these cuts and to convene a Housing Task Force including stakeholders from across the state. We need a comprehensive plan to address the housing crisis for all New Yorkers.
Michael J. Borges
Rural Housing Coalition of New York