Republican lawmakers in Yonkers call for an end to New York's faith-based housing proposal

The bill would ease zoning restrictions for houses of worship to make it easier to build affordable housing units.

Jonathan Gordon

Apr 16, 2024, 9:24 PM

Updated 43 days ago

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The two Republicans on the Yonkers City Council called on state lawmakers to put an end to a bill that would make it easier for religious organizations to build affordable housing on their properties.
Anthony Merante and Mike Breen said they support the need for more affordable housing but believe this is the wrong way to approach it.
"What it really is, is the first step to take over control of local zoning," Merante said.
The bill would ease zoning restrictions for houses of worship to make it easier to build affordable housing units.
"The Faith-Based Affordable Housing Act is our commitment to meeting the urgent need to address New York’s housing crisis while respecting the unique character of communities across the state," the bill's main sponsor State Sen. Andrew Gounardes said back in March. "By enabling religious institutions to develop affordable housing, we're empowering them to serve New York's most vulnerable while ensuring their financial stability, too."
State Sens. Jamaal Bailey, Pete Harckham, Shelley Mayer and Michelle Hinchey all co-sponsor it. Dana Levenberg and Sarahana Shrestha co-sponsor the Assembly version of the bill.
The concept did not appear to make it into the conceptual budget agreement announced by Gov. Kathy Hochul on Monday but opponents worry it could still pass before the end of the session.


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