Gov. Kathy Hochul is committed to working on how to address the state's housing crises after she and legislative leaders could not overcome their impasse on the complex issue and make corresponding investments and policy changes in the next state budget.
"We're going to go back," Hochul told reporters Tuesday in wake of divided housing negotiations. "This is just the beginning of a journey. We're going to work on this until we solve this."
The governor Tuesday said she sees a path to finish the state's estimated $230 billion spending plan — its most expensive in history — by the end of the week, as negotiations start to run into a month of overtime. The 2023-24 budget deadlined April 1.
The governor put forward a controversial Housing Compact to build 800,000 new homes over the next 10 years and other housing-related proposals forced the issue out of the final spending plan, which she classified Tuesday as "bold" and "audacious" to start the conversation.
"I said from the outset 'This is not going to be easy,'" Hochul said in the Capitol on Tuesday. "No governor in the past has even attempted to talk about an issue, which has been ignored. The lack of affordable housing for New Yorkers, whether you're a homeowner, whether you're a renter — the lack of housing supply and the fact other states are far surpassing us."
The state would override local zoning rules or refusal for qualified construction projects under Hochul's housing proposal to ensure a 3% increase in available units downstate and a 1% increase upstate every three years.
Hochul's proposals included in her executive budget released Feb. 1 were an attempt to change too few new units and exclusionary housing policies. She recounted forums she held with public officials on Long Island and Westchester County — where her proposals were met with the steepest pushback — over the last few months. Lawmakers also expressed deep concerns, or little interest, in legislating Hochul's Housing Compact as a vehicle to make improvements.
State Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie on Monday said the governor and lawmakers need an education period to hear from stakeholders to best shape the correct housing policy for New Yorkers.
The governor cited a famous quote by Canadian hockey player Wayne Gretzky
"You miss 100% of the shots you don't take' — I took the shot," the governor said. "Gretzky would say 'You only make one out of five of those shots,' and that's OK. At least we're trying and we're not done. So at least we're trying with the Legislature. ... I'm not giving up."
The governor will continue to work with lawmakers to pursue elements of her housing package and getting more people to understand her proposals, which she said housing advocates and opponents mischaracterized.
"It's going to take some time," she added. "We look at California and Massachusetts as models. It took decades to do what theyt did. I'm not waiting decades. We started the process and we're just getting energized."