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Our New Local Assemblyman, Brian Maher, Joins Other Area Officials Opposing Hochul Housing Plan

Assemblyman Brian Maher (R,C-Walden), Town of Neversink Supervisor Chris Mathews (L) and Town of Hamptonburgh Councilman Rich Cocchiara (R) at the press conference opposing Gov. Hochul’s High Rise Plan.

Albany- Republicans rallied in Albany on Monday in protest of the housing plan Governor Cathy Hochul proposed in her executive budget released back in January. Hochul’s proposal is an aggressive plan to create new housing throughout the entire state and has raised concern with Republicans because it would allow the state to circumvent local zoning when it comes to housing construction if communities fail to meet new housing goals.

If adopted in the final state budget, Hochul’s plan would require communities to increase new housing by one percent of existing housing units, and by three percent in the Metropolitan Transportation Commuter District over three years. If a community fails to meet this mark, the state would be authorized to override local zoning laws in an effort to meet the goals.

Assemblyman Karl Brabenec (R-Deerpark) was among the lawmakers protesting the Governor’s plan, calling the proposal a “misuse of governmental power. Suburban communities are what they are because of what they offer: a quiet, less crowded neighborhood away from big urban centers. To start filling those neighborhoods with more housing is a misuse of governmental power to the highest degree,” said Brabenec. Assemblyman Brian Maher (R- Montgomery) joined the rally as well. He opposes the governor’s plan because he believes that communities around the state are developing plans to build new housing that best fits their individual needs.

“Countless local communities already have plans in place to ensure housing stock increases by far more than one percent. However, cookie-cutter approaches won’t solve the housing problem because no two communities are alike. I welcome a real conversation on how we can work toward solving the current housing crisis. Housing is essential to keeping our talented citizens working here at home and to prevent them from fleeing the state in record numbers,” said Maher.

Local elected officials, including Supervisor of the Town of Neversink Chris Matthews and Hamptonburgh Town Councilman Rich Cocchiara made the trip to Albany to join the opposition effort. Matthews called the governor’s plan “a full frontal assault on home rule” and Cocchiara said if passed, the plan will “disenfranchise our voters and take away their local voice.”

Source: Mid-Hudson News

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