New York needs to greatly expand its stock of housing in order to attract new jobs and private sector development in the state, Gov. Kathy Hochul on Monday said during a trip to Central New York.
Hochul is making the housing push as part of a key plank in her agenda this year in order to combat a shortage that has contributed to higher rents and priced out first-time homebuyers in New York.
But the effort is already facing opposition from local governments, especially in suburban communities, over a provision that could lead to the state pushing through qualifying projects over the objections of local zoning officials. She also wants to encourage development around stations that provide service to the Metropolitan Transportation Authority.
Hochul, in Syracuse, touted the specifics of her $227 billion budget proposal for the city, including money for public housing and economic development.
But more broadly, Hochul wants to expand housing in order to attract and retain businesses. Inflation, combined with a pandemic-era buying frenzy and a depressed housing stock, has spurred higher prices in housing in New York and across the country.
"The future of our state will be hinging on whether we can meet the need, meet the demand right now," she told reporters. "Otherwise, it's going to be challenging to attract new businesses here so they can house their employees."
Local government organizations have raised objctions to the plans, which Hochul wants to result in 800,000 units of housing in tthe coming years. Negotiations are underway for a state budget in Albany that is expected to be in place by April 1.
The Central New York region, in particular, is putting its hopes on the development of chip fabrication with Micron Technologies investing its business in the area in the coming years with state and local financing for the deal.
That means finding housing accomodations for many of the workers who could be moving to the area.
Hochul said she wants to get "communities on board, we need to get our developers on board" for the plan.
"I don't have the answer to say it's going to happen tomorrow, I'm saying we have to get started," she said.