CONGRESSMAN MIKE LAWLER AND BIPARTISAN GROUP OF STATE AND LOCAL ELECTED OFFICIALS RAISE CONCERNS WITH GOVERNOR HOCHUL'S HOUSING PLAN
Armonk, NY, March 7, 2023
Congressman Mike Lawler (NY-17) held a press conference today with a bipartisan group of elected officials from Rockland, Westchester, and Putnam County, including state and local representatives, to raise concerns with Governor Hochul's proposed housing plan in the state budget.
"The Governor's plan, a multi-pronged plan, on accessory dwelling units, transit-oriented development, and her Housing Compact, which would require in this area a 3% increase in housing is wholly unacceptable given the total lack of investment in infrastructure," said Rep. Lawler. "The $250 million the Governor has put aside in the budget? I could spend that in just one of our municipalities in this district. There are dozens of municipalities that are all in need of significant infrastructure investment."
"Local control is a bedrock in New York State," continued Rep. Lawler. "Municipalities are governed at the local level so that decisions on development can have direct input from residents. This plan would upend that, violate the Constitutional rights of our municipalities, and force a one-size-fits-all on municipalities across my district."
"As a member of the Financial Services Committee and Housing and Insurance Subcommittee, I am very interested in seeing what we can do at the federal level to support our municipalities when it comes to housing, when it comes to affordable housing, when it comes to infrastructure and helping meet these demands," concluded Rep. Lawler. "But the Governor's plan is not how you go about doing that."
"One size does not fit all and one size cannot fit all," said North Castle Supervisor Michael Schiliro. "We've had ADU's (accessory dwelling units) since the 80's, we've had MIU's (middle-income units) since the 90's. We did it before anybody, not because we had to do it, but because we wanted to do it. This is a bipartisan issue - one size does not fit all."
"I want to thank Congressman Lawler because he's doing exactly what the Governor should have done at the beginning of this process," said Assemblyman Matt Slater. "Meet with local leaders on both sides of the aisle to understand the issues and the barriers that are in place that prevent housing from coming to fruition."
"The Town of Ossining absolutely believes in affordable housing ," said Ossining Supervisor Liz Feldman. "But this one-stop shop taking away our local control doesn't work. Almost all of our train stations are along the river and to take away our right to do SEQRA (State Environmental Quality Review Act) is irresponsible and potentially harmful to the Hudson River which we spent billions of dollars trying to clean up and protect. Local planning boards know where contaminated areas are and it's important they are a part of the conversation."
"It's really great to come across the river and meet with other Town Supervisors and Mayors on this issue," said Clarkstown Supervisor George Hoehmann. "To echo what you heard before, no one disagrees with the idea that we need more housing and affordable housing. But the way the it's being proposed, with taking away local control, is wrong, including taking away the authority to conduct environmental reviews. This would have a tremendously negative impact on our schools, first responders, and more."