New Lt. Gov. to work on housing issues
Nick Reisman reports at New York State of Politics that Lt. Gov. Brian Benjamin was sworn in Sept. 9. Benjamin is being given several issues to focus on by Gov. Kathy Hochul. Affordable housing, or the lack of it throughout the state, will be his top concern. Public housing and the distribution of emergency rental assistance, will be among his top priorities. The upper Hudson Valley had aa affordable housing crisis before the pandemic, with few hotel units and many apartments converted to short-term rental units. The lack of supply of affordable housing, was then made worse by the rising demand for homes and apartments from people moving here during the pandemic. That has all driven real estate prices to new highs locally, pricing many out of their homes. So far, only $300 million of the $2.1 billion from the Emergency Rental Assistance Program has been sent to tenants and landlords. "We want to make sure that that number is ramped up much quicker, and I will work with our governor to make sure it will do so," Benjamin said. Plus, the newly chosen Lt. Gov. will attempt to win the position himself. "It is my intention to run for lieutenant governor," Benjamin said, "and I will be supporting Gov. Hochul." Read more about this story at New York State of Politics.