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Advocates call for Hochul’s housing plan to be taken seriously on Long Island

 Hochul projects her plans will lead to 800,000 new homes in the next ten years.
Office of Governor Kathy Hochul
Hochul projects her plans will lead to 800,000 new homes in the next ten years.

Housing advocates on Long Island rallied in support of Governor Kathy Hochul’s housing compact plan on Wednesday.

Her plan would require municipalities in Suffolk and Nassau counties to increase the number of new housing units by 3% over three years. It would also rezone residential housing in neighborhoods within half a mile from Long Island Rail Road stations.

Pilar Moya-Mancera, the executive director of Housing Help Inc. in Greenlawn, said Hochul’s proposal would bring relief to financially struggling families.

“According to the 2017 data from the U.S. Census bureau, 39% of homeowners in Suffolk County are housing cost burdened. Housing cost burden means they are spending over 30% of their gross income towards housing,” Moya-Mancera said at the rally in Huntington Station.

“Why is this the case? Our working class families and vulnerable populations deserve better—they deserve stable and affordable housing,” she added.

The financial stress families are under has increased over time. According to the governor’s plan, renting in New York has increased 40-60% since 2015, and the price for a home has increased 50-80%.

“We’ve got to start speaking louder,” said real estate agent Michael Daly. “You know, love is a great thing, but when love is quiet… It sometimes needs to be loud. And we need some loud love right now for this New York housing compact.”

Daly is also an activist with East End YIMBY, known as “Yes In My Backyard.”

Huntington Town Supervisor Ed Smyth and other Republicans are critical of Hochul’s proposal. Smyth has said his town doesn’t have the sewage or waste management system, schools, roads or emergency services available to support a population density increase.

The plan features a $250 million infrastructure fund and a $20 million planning fund.

Joseph D’Alessandro is a news intern at WSHU for the spring of 2023.