June 9, 2023
CONTACT: Mariah McGough, Mariah@vocal-ny.org
DERELICTION OF DUTY: VOCAL-NY SLAMS LEGISLATURE FOR FAILING TO DELIVER ON HOUSING DURING 2023 LEGISLATIVE SESSION
State Leadership’s Lack of Political Courage Will Result in More New Yorkers Evicted, in Shelters, and on the Streets
ALBANY, N.Y. — As the session comes to a close, Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart Cousins and Speaker Carl Heastie released a statement confirming no deal was made to provide affordable housing and eviction prevention for New Yorkers. In response, VOCAL-NY released the following statement, attributable to Adolfo Abreu, VOCAL-NY Housing Campaigns Director:
“We are heartbroken at the abysmal failure of leadership demonstrated by the state government over the course of this session. We were told in the fall that the Assembly, the Senate, and the Governor would prioritize policies to address the housing crisis that has been raging in our communities for over 20 years. But with the crisis more acute than ever, not a single housing policy made it to the Governor’s desk.
In the days of the session, a bill (S4561A) that provides wifi for individuals in the shelter system passed through the Senate, putting it in a much stronger position to pass through both houses next year. Our leaders fought hard for this bill, and we are proud of this progress – but it’s nowhere near enough. Moreover, it shows that even in the session’s final hours, common sense bills can move forward when there is the political will to get them done.
The Housing Access Voucher Program and Good Cause Eviction were the only bills on the table that could have saved New Yorkers from eviction and homelessness right now. It was a true act of cowardice by Speaker Heastie and Majority Leader Stewart-Cousins that these bills were not put before the Governor. Promises were made, and we were abandoned in the final hours. It is a failure we will not soon forget.”