A bill meant to boost affordable housing in New York through converting distressed commercial properties was signed into law late Friday by Gov. Andrew Cuomo. 

The measure is meant to increase housing options by targeting properties like distressed hotels and other commercial buildings to aid homeless and low-income New Yorkers who are at risk of losing their homes. 

The bill had been pushed by housing advocates in New York as a way of increasing housing during a supply crunch that has made the cost of living more expensive. 

“The Housing Our Neighbors with Dignity Act will create a multi-faceted recovery plan for New York State," said Assembly Member Karines Reyes, R.N. "The conversion of distressed commercial units into affordable housing units addresses the needs of our businesses and of our housing crisis."

A housing crunch in the state has been coupled with the devastating economy fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic, and homelessness has increased over the last year and a half. 

“New York has seen a decades-long affordable housing crunch exacerbated by the covid-19 pandemic and ensuing economic devastation. HONDA will tackle the dual problems of distressed properties and lack of affordable housing made worse by the pandemic,” said Deputy Senate Majority Leader Mike Gianaris, a sponsor of the measure. “Now let’s begin the hard work of properly implementing HONDA and ensuring more New Yorkers have a home they can afford.”