January 19, 2023
Staff Report from Finger Lakes 1
Many families in New York are struggling to cover the cost of basic necessities like food and child care, due to the high cost of rent, according to a new study from the Citizens’ Committee for Children of New York.
The study found that in 49 out of 62 counties in the state, over 20% of renters are facing unaffordable housing costs. In some areas, such as Greene County, 30% of renters are paying more than half of their income on rent.
The Citizens’ Committee for Children of New York is calling on the state government to provide more support for struggling families, including free school lunches and subsidies for child care.
The organization is also advocating for a statewide housing access voucher program and an increase in the Emergency Rental Assistance Program to help families afford apartments.
They also suggest that undocumented families should be able to access state and local funding to prevent homelessness, and the “shelter allowance” should be increased to the fair market rent for that area.
In response to the crisis, Governor Kathy Hochul has announced plans to construct new housing, particularly in the New York City suburbs, in an effort to increase affordability by flooding the rental market.
However, advocacy groups argue that any housing plan that does not include increased tenant protections, such as “good cause eviction,” and additional funding for housing vouchers, will fall short of addressing the problem.