Jamestown City Council’s Housing Committee is in favor of a pledge to address affordable housing issues in the city.
The Pro-Housing Community Program was created in July 2023 under an executive order by Governor Kathy Hochul.
Jamestown Director of Development Crystal Surdyk said affordable housing is a top issue across the country, “Municipalities across the state are encouraged to take this pledge. And, and it will.. pledging that we’re taking housing seriously and these are all priorities set by the state. And to be frank, these are all things that we’re already working on, that we’re already working toward.”
The City of Dunkirk became one of the the first 20 communities in the state to receive their designation as a Pro-Housing Community earlier this month.
Surdyk said signing the pledge will position the city well for future funding for housing.
According to the state, localities with the “Pro-Housing Communities” designation will receive priority in their applications for funding programs, including the NY Forward program, the capital projects from the Market New York program, the New York Main Street program, and others.
The Pro Housing Communities Pledge has several steps including:
1. Streamlining permitting for multifamily housing, affordable housing, accessible housing, accessory dwelling units, and supportive housing.
2. Adopting policies that affirmatively further fair housing.
3. Incorporating regional housing needs into planning decisions.
4. Increasing development capacity for residential uses.
5. Enacting policies that encourage a broad range of housing development, including multifamily housing, affordable housing, accessible housing, accessory dwelling units, and supportive housing.
According to the Pro Housing Community program page on the state’s website, municipalities that approve the pledge must also provide the state information detailing local housing permit approvals for the past five years.
Upstate municipalities are to show through permitting documentation if they have increased their housing stock by 0.33% over the past year or increased housing stock by 1% over the past three years. Municipalities are notified if they are certified in the program within 90 days.
For localities that have not seen housing growth, they can still be certified as a Pro-Housing Community by submitting their data and having the municipal governing body pass the Pro-Housing Resolution. After the municipality submits the executed resolution and the data has been reviewed, they will be notified of their certification within 90 days.
The resolution will appear under new business on Jamestown City Council’s February 26th’s voting session agenda.