It was a surprise to many when Gov. Kathy Hochul and lawmakers came up empty-handed on housing during budget negotiations.

“I took on a big challenge. I knew it. I said from the outset it’s not going to be easy,” Hochul said last month.

What You Need To Know

  • A plan to build affordable housing collapsed in state budget talks 

  • Lawmakers will leave the Capitol next month and head back to their districts for the rest of the year 

  • Discussions continue on housing, but so far, there have been no agreements 

But with just days left in the legislative session, it doesn’t appear as though Hochul and lawmakers are any closer to an agreement that would lead to more affordable housing being built. Next month, legislators will leave Albany and not return until January.

“Nobody really wants to leave Albany for the session without having accomplished something in the area of housing,” said the chair of the Assembly Housing Committee, Linda Rosenthal, of Manhattan. “Because the problems that existed during the budget have not disappeared, so we really have to do something.”

Sources say a key holdup in housing talks was what to do about the Good Cause Eviction bill, which would create new protections for tenants, but also shift the balance of power between property owners and renters in favor of tenants. Many upstate legislators are opposed.

“We know that the Good Cause bill as it exists, will not pass,” Democratic State Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins told reporters in Albany last week. “And so we have perpetually been trying to find some way to try and provide that tenant protection. Even if if it’s not that specific bill.”

State leaders have been trying to find a way to create more tenant protections, without calling it "Good Cause," but some refuse to negotiate unless "Good Cause" is part of the discussion.

“Well, I think that tenants really do need a measure of protection from frivolous eviction and exorbitant rent increases,” Rosenthal said. ”At the same time, developers who will build some affordable housing, we should look at. Office conversions is a possibility. So, there is still enough time in Albany to get some housing issues dealt with."

Another issue is the tax break for developers known as 421a. It expired last year, and still hasn’t been renewed. Housing advocates say it doesn’t result in enough affordable units, but supporters say it is the only program leading to any affordable housing being built in the city.