Gov. Kathy Hochul wants to create 800,000 new homes statewide over the next decade to address New York’s housing crisis.

Part of her proposed plan includes changing zoning policies that would allow new dwellings to exist where current laws prohibit them.

However, her proposal is sparking pushback from neighbors in more suburban areas of Queens, including Southeast Queens.

“We like the way the landscape is,” said Michael Scotland. “The single-family homes. We like the land, we like the space. And we moved here just for that.”

What You Need To Know

  • Gov. Kathy Hochul proposed creating 800,000 new homes statewide over the next decade to address New York’s housing crisis

  • Part of her plan to change zoning policies to allow new dwellings to exist where current laws prohibit them

  • Hochul’s proposal is sparking pusHback from neighbors in more suburban areas of Queens, including Southeast Queens

Scotland has lived in the Addisleigh Park neighborhood of Southeast Queens with his family for the past decade.

He said he enjoys the suburban feel of the community.

The Addisleigh Park neighborhood is also a historically Black community, dating back to days where restrictive policies locked African Americans out of homeownership in many other parts of the country.

Historic figures such as Billy Holiday, Lena Horne, Jackie Robinson and many others once lived there.

Scotland, who is the former president of the Addisleigh Park Civic Association, said he does not want to see the suburban landscape change, but mentioned that he fears it will if Hochul has her way.

“And we’re not really interested in increasing the density or changing the character of the neighborhood,” Scotland said. “What it will create us more properties at the same market rate? It doesn’t create affordable housing at all.”

Two separate bills introduced in the Assembly and state Senate, including A1075 and S2276, would pave the way for such zoning changes sooner rather than later if they’re passed during this legislative session or become part of Hochul’s final budget.

Zoning changes would permit more buildings that exceed dwelling for two families and allow homeowners to convert basements or garages into apartments.

Sen. Leroy Comrie, who represents Addisleigh Park and other parts of Southeast Queens, plans to fight it because he said the legislation doesn’t take into important considerations for his constituents.

“…considerations like water and sewer lines, which are a problem in southeast queens because we don’t have enough capacity now, Comrie said. “The broadband electric grid. The traffic flow, waste removal. We have overcrowded schools in our district already.”

In a statement regarding the governor’s housing plan, a spokesperson for Hochul said the proposal is to create a variety of housing types, including single-family homes, affordable housing, mixed-income multifamily and more, throughout New York.

“By setting local housing targets in every community statewide, giving communities flexibility to determine their own growth, and providing funding and tools to increase the housing supply, the governor’s plan will help New York meet her goal of creating 800,000 new units and increasing affordability across the state,” a spokesperson for Hochul said in a statement.

Advocates of Hochul’s policies support the her effort to incorporate suburbs into her plan to increase the states housing stock.

Annmarie Gray, the executive director of Open New York, a pro-housing advocacy group, said she believes Hochul’s legislation can address chronic issues, such as affordable housing and equity.

“We also really want to make sure that we’re prioritizing affordable housing,” Gray said. “We really want to make sure we’re adopting tenant protection measures and housing discrimination measures at the same time.”