New York, Rochester leaders recognize affordable housing is a ‘crisis issue’

    ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — Describing it as a crisis issue for New Yorkers, state and Rochester leaders provided insight into what they are doing to try to help those seeking affordable housing.

    Rochester Mayor Malik Evans said in the past two years, Rochester has developed thousands of affordable housing units. Mayor Evans added that continued work with the Rochester Housing Authority is going to strengthen those numbers.

    “The bottom line is, you need more supply, you need more units, and that’s what we’ve been pushing towards,” Mayor Evans said.

    Mayor Evans says a key focus to developing more affordable housing in Rochester has been making sure there are accessible units in all parts of the City.

    “Including downtown, where we are for the first time in history approaching over 10,000 units,” Mayor Evans said. “And that’s because of the work that we are doing with the help of Senator Gillibrand.”

    Addressing the topic at a press conference earlier this week, U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand says on the state level, she has multiple pieces of legislation she is hoping to get votes on. Adding, to not only address affordable housing but also increase transparency on public housing to see where that money goes.

    “It’s one of the biggest crisis issues for most New Yorkers. And most communities, regardless of if you are upstate and downstate, or in rural or in cities,” Senator Gillibrand said.

    Assemblyman Demond Meeks touched on this further adding a problem in our area is outside investors coming in, buying properties, and increasing rates.

    “Then it becomes a trend, where you have the mom and pops saying okay well if they can get that amount for a house, maybe I should be getting this much more,” Assemblyman Meeks said.

    Assemblyman Meeks adding the issue of rate hikes goes hand in hand with the issue of poverty.

    “We have individuals who are paying fifty percent of their monthly income, for housing, and that’s just unacceptable,” Assemblyman Meeks said. “We need to give people a way out and a leg up.”

    And recently, housing advocates are urging City Council members to consider opting the city into a rent stabilization system.

    The Housing Justice for All adding that would limit rent increases for about 25,000 Rochester residents.

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