Housing and Climate Policy in the NY State Budget: Missed Opportunities and Next Steps

Affordable housing and climate change are two of the most fundamental crises facing New York State. Unfortunately, the State budget excluded or diluted the most impactful housing and climate policies. After years without a comprehensive housing package, we are pleased to see some provisions in this budget that are a step in the right direction. However, significantly bolder and swifter action on housing and climate is needed for the safety and stability of New Yorkers. 

While this budget brings some new protections to tenants in New York City and statewide, it fails to deliver rights and resources to New Yorkers experiencing homelessness, rent burdens, harassment, and those at greatest risk of displacement. Yearslong tenant advocacy for anti-eviction protections resulted in the State’s first Good Cause legislation, which will strengthen tenants’ rights for many, but is far narrower and more complicated than the original bill. As explained by Housing Justice for All, this version of Good Cause excludes millions of tenants statewide and includes landlord exemptions that make the law difficult to enforce. The legislature and executive also failed to enact the Housing Access Voucher Program (HAVP), which would have helped house homeless and at-risk New Yorkers currently abandoned by the housing market. 

The budget also included dangerous roll-backs to the 2019 Housing Stability and Tenant Protection Act, undoing hard-won protections against landlord fraud and deregulation by expanding rent-stabilized landlords’ ability to raise rents through Individual Apartment Improvements (IAIs). We are pleased to see that Albany did not pass the “vacancy reset” bill, which Pratt Center’s Attack on Affordabilitybrief showed would threaten the affordability of half of the city’s rent-stabilized apartments home to vulnerable long-term tenants. The budget did finally respond to theBasement Apartments Safe for Everyone (BASE)coalition’s calls for legislation to address the safety of tenants in the city’s unregulated basement and cellar apartments, where in 2021 eleven New Yorkers lost their lives due to flooding during Hurricane Ida, but arbitrarily excluded much of the citywhere these protections are needed most. In the remainder of the State legislative session, housing advocates will continue to fight for policy to address the root causes of our housing crisis, such as the Tenant Opportunity to Purchase Act. 

The budget also failed to address our worsening climate and energy affordability crisis, neglecting major legislative proposals like the NY-HEAT Act, which would cap energy bills and speed the state’s transition away from natural gas. We’re particularly disappointed that S3596B, a bill that would increase the state’s solar tax credit cap from $5,000 to $10,000 and make it refundable for low to moderate income families, was left out of this year’s budget. This common sense reform would open up the benefits of solar to millions more New Yorkers, helping them afford their energy bills and stay in their homes.

Climate change is an existential crisis, and every year that we don’t take action is condemning future New Yorkers to a more polluted, unlivable world. Governor Hochul and State legislators still have time to take meaningful climate action before the session ends.

Statements on the NYS Budget from Allied and Partner Organizations

Housing Justice for All



NY Renews



08 May, 2024