Comptroller Scott Stringer says New York City has little choice but to rework Mayor de Blasio’s affordable housing plan to serve more low-income people. “If we don’t start producing housing for working-class New Yorkers, then we’re going to be a very different city,” Stringer told WBAI’s Max & Murphy on Wednesday. “And we’re not going to be able to afford the exploding cost of homeless shelters.”
Meanwhile, Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul blamed New York’s continuing population loss—its shedding of 48,000 people between 2017 and 2018 was the biggest decline of any state—partly on the weather. Older New Yorkers, she said, left the state seeking warmer climates. “They’d rather live in sunny Florida,” she said. “That’s just a statement of fact.”
Hochul, who is entering her second term as Gov. Cuomo’s lieutenant, said she would continue to focus on issues that affect women. Cuomo recently appointed her to co-chair a task force on child-care availability, which she said is a critical issue not just to the families that depend on it to facilitate their own careers and schooling, but on the people (overwhelmingly women) for whom child-care is the career.
Stringer last month proposed shifting the 85,000 new construction units left under de Blasio’s Housing New York plan to serve very low and extremely low-income New Yorkers, and to finance the required $370 million capital fund and $120 million annual operating cost by raising the real-property transfer tax on higher-value property purchases. Stringer also wants to eliminate the mortgage recording tax so that overall taxes on home purchases are more progressive. Stringer’s plan would set aside 15 percent of new units for homeless people.
The tax changes would require approval by the state legislature, which Stringer said was more likely now that Democrats control both houses of the legislature.
The comptroller also discussed his role on a commission that recommended legislative pay raises and restrictions on outside income, the outlook for the city’s budget and (yes,the obligatory political reporter question) whether (translation: when he will make it official that) he is running for mayor.
Comptroller Scott Stringer
Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul