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Hochul’s housing proposal sparks debate among WNY policymakers

The governor is asking each upstate municipality to increase its number of homes by 1% every three years.

BUFFALO, N.Y. — It’s been just two days since Gov. Kathy Hochul’s State of the State address, and the governor's proposed New York Housing Compact is already bringing some to a boiling point.

“To think that she can somehow force new homes to be built is really trying to treat the symptoms and not the disease,” New York State Senator George Borrello said.

The governor is asking each upstate municipality to increase their number of homes by 1% every three years with the goal of building 800,000 new homes over the course of the next decade in an attempt to make New York more affordable.

But for those who don’t meet the quota, the proposal would give the state the ability to green light affordable developments in those localities, regardless of local zoning laws.

"Doing nothing is an abdication of our responsibility to act in times of crisis,” Hochul said.

And while Hochul believes putting this responsibility on the municipalities will bring people in, Borrello says the state’s still driving them out

“New York state leads the nation in property taxes, leads the nation income taxes, and certainly leads the nation in oppressive regulations that make it harder and harder for people to make a living here,” Borrello said.

"But for towns like Amherst that are already in the process of adding 2,000 units — four times what would be its quota for the next three years — its leaders don’t see the proposal posing any problems."

Added Amherst Town Supervisor Brian Kulpa: “We kind of know where our controlled fate and destiny is. We're going to grow, and we're growing in excess of some of those numbers now.”

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