Faith-based Affordable Housing Act under fire due to lack of oversight to local zoning laws

Some proponents of the plan say it is needed to help deal with the affordable housing crisis.

News 12 Staff

Apr 4, 2024, 9:22 PM

Updated 55 days ago

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A proposal to let religious institutions build affordable houses is being criticized due to the possible harm it could do to communities by bypassing local zoning laws.
State Rep. Jake Blumencranz, an Oyster Bay Republican, says the faith-based Affordable Housing Act is a bad idea for Long Island.
"This would be a completely top-down state mandated program that would allow these religious institutions to build virtually whatever they want," Blumencranz says.
The act is part of the state budget proposal and Blumencranz says it is similar to Gov. Kathy Hochul's New York Housing Compact, which was scrapped in 2023 due to strong opposition.
However, Ian Wilder, with Long Island Housing Services, says there is an affordable housing crisis and this plan would help solve the program.
"This seems like to me an easy proposal," Wilder says. "You have the most trusted institutions in our society proposing to use their resources in a way that seems to go to the core of what most religious teachings are, which is to help house people."
The bill is currently in committee. State legislators have until April 8 to pass a budget.


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