Rockland County Executive Ed Day Opposes State Senator Gounardes’ Affordable Housing Act, Citing Threat to Local Home Rule and Zoning Laws

Statement from County Executive Ed Day:

“It has come to our attention that New York State Senator Andrew Gounardes has proposed the Faith-Based Affordable Housing Act, allowing affordable housing to be developed on residential land while bypassing local zoning requirements.

While I agree that we face housing challenges in Rockland and across New York State, we are fed up with the constant attacks by Governor Kathy Hochul and her allies on home rule. In fact, it would be refreshing to see support of existing local laws rather than constant assaults such as this.

It is abundantly clear that Albany’s one-size-fits-all approach does not work. Local municipalities understand the needs of their current and future residents best and are perfectly capable of creating the conditions that support appropriate housing opportunities. My administration will continue to support the towns and villages working to improve their local housing stock through events like our second Housing Forum coming up in April.

Let’s not forget, while creating affordable housing is an admirable goal, bypassing regulations is extremely problematic. The New York State Department of State unprecedently deputized the County of Rockland to handling building and fire code inspections in the Village of Spring Valley due to egregious illegal housing issues. If local municipalities are already struggling to enforce Uniform Fire Prevention and Building Code Standards which aims to save lives, allowing organizations to conduct development that bypasses zoning will only compound the issue.

As Rockland County Executive, and past president of a local civic association, I believe this proposal to be contradictory of the Constitution of New York State and will continue to stand firmly in opposition to any politically based plan that undermines New York State Home Rule regulations and municipal zoning ordinances.

My Administration will keep all our options open in order to stop this plan in its tracks.”

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