BRI News

Welcome Home Westchester Reacts to Gov. Hochul’s Executive Orders to Prioritize the Construction of Housing

On July 18, 2023, Governor Kathy Hochul signed the Executive Order to prioritize the construction of housing and ease the ongoing housing crisis.

On behalf of the Welcome Home Westchester campaign, read the statement from Tim Foley, CEO of the Building and Realty Institute (BRI):

The Governor’s Executive Actions on housing may be small steps compared to the size of a housing shortage that has been decades in the making, but even the longest journey starts with a single step. These Executive Orders and the Governor’s own words promise that these are intended to be only the first steps to finally building the housing we need, with bigger and better initiatives to come. 

We are particularly cheered by efforts to repurpose state land for housing development — not just challenging municipalities to show leadership, but leading by example. Here in Westchester, we know that the data produced by the Westchester County Housing Needs Assessment jumpstarted so many conversations and initiatives on the need for housing in our county. We have faith that the newly announced statewide Housing Data Dashboard can surely help local communities understand how the housing shortage is impacting their own neighbors, as well as help local activists hold their municipal governments accountable for future progress, or lack thereof. Finally, the designation of Pro-Housing Communities as a way to make sure state economic development grants are weighted towards those communities who are part of the solution on housing and away from those mired in ‘the way things have always been done’ or reflexive NIMBY-ism offers the incentive approach that so many towns, villages, and cities have been asking for. We’ll be able to see how many truly avail themselves of this grant support. If nothing else, it makes little sense to send state money to revitalize downtowns for municipalities that are reluctant to make those downtowns walkable, liveable, and affordable for those who want to live there.

The Welcome Home Westchester campaign and its partners strongly urge our leaders to look at what they can do to promote much-needed housing in our communities in a way that makes sense for all our residents, current and future. Not every community needs to do the same things to reform their zoning, but no community should be allowed to do nothing.

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