Mayor Eric Adams outlined ambitious housing goals in his State of the City address Wednesday, but the head of Citizens Housing and Planning Council emphasized the crucial role of Albany lawmakers in making the proposals a reality.
During an appearance on "Mornings On 1" Thursday, the council executive director Howard Slatkin expressed reservations about the mayor's plans. "This set of proposals that the mayor unveiled in the State of the City is not going to give you a half a million housing units," he said, emphasizing the scale of the city's housing crisis.
He stressed the need for a comprehensive approach, considering both city-controlled land and property that is privately owned.
While acknowledging the city's resources for affordable housing, Slatkin also pointed out a challenge, saying, "The amount of housing that can be built with those programs is fixed by the amount of money to divide up among 10 projects or among 20 projects, but you can't make more of it until the next budget."
He said those concerns would have to be addressed by lawmakers in Albany, who he said have “no appetite” to make such a move.
“It's not on the agenda the way it was last year,” he said. “Last year, the governor proposed an ambitious suite of programs that said the state was going to step in if local government stood in the way of creating housing. This year, she's looking to the students in the class who are raising their hand and saying, ‘How can we help you?’”
In Adams’ State of the City address, housing took center stage. The mayor unveiled plans for 24 affordable housing projects in 2024, the creation of a new “tenant protection” cabinet, reopening the public housing section 8 voucher waitlist, and the addition of 12,000 housing units in the city.