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The Cost of Housing Construction and the Availability of Affordable Housing


To examine the rising cost of housing construction and its impact on the current state of affordable housing.

February 14, 2008
11:30 A.M.
250 Broadway
Assembly Hearing Room 1923, 19th Floor

In the past few years construction costs have been consistently rising. Several large construction companies regularly publish cost indices to track costs, and they have shown that prices, in recent years, have in fact been rising more quickly that the estimated rate of increase. In addition the number of affordable housing units available for rent has severely declined, because many owners of publicly subsidized housing projects have left programs that provide economic incentives in return for reduced rental rates for tenants.

These factors work together to create a situation that aggravates the housing shortage. This hearing will explore these complicated issues in order to determine what solutions would best address these problems.

Please see the next page for a list of questions in response to which witnesses may direct their testimony.

Oral testimony will be limited to ten minutes duration. Ten copies of any prepared testimony should be submitted at the hearing registration desk. The Committee would appreciate advance receipt of prepared statements. Written testimony will also be accepted and may be sent to the contact persons listed on the reply form. In order to publicize the hearing further, please inform interested parties of the Committee's interest in receiving written testimony from all sources.

In order to meet the needs of those who may have a disability, the Senate and Assembly, in accordance with their policy of non-discrimination on the basis of disability, as well as the 1990 Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), has made its facilities and services available to all individuals with disabilities. For individuals with disabilities, accommodations will be provided, upon reasonable request, to afford such individuals access and admission to Senate and Assembly facilities and activities.

Vito J. Lopez
Member of Assembly
Committee on Housing


  1. What investment of federal, state, and local resources would be needed to address the housing crisis in New York State?

  2. How could existing programs to promote the construction and rehabilitation of affordable housing be improved? Are per unit awards by state programs to promote the construction of affordable housing adequate to allow developers to create housing with rents affordable to working class and to middle-and low-income families?

  3. Has the support of governmental programs and statutes been adequate to ensure that affordable housing units and their buildings are kept in proper condition?

  4. What are the primary reasons inflation rates for housing construction costs exceed the rate of inflation for goods and services generally? To what extent are these increases the product of temporary market conditions and to what extent do they represent long-term trends?

  5. How can the availability of affordable housing be maintained and increased in light of increasing construction costs? Are there statutory and regulatory changes that would help reduce building costs?

  6. What geographic areas in New York State are experiencing the most severe cost increases? What is the main cause of these geographic differences?

  7. In recent years there has been an increasing trend of investors to withdraw from low-cost housing projects. Should government programs and statutes focus on developing more affordable housing units or, on maintaining existing units?

  8. What incentives can be offered to help attract new development of affordable housing units and/or to maintain the continued enrollment of owners, both public and private, in affordable housing programs?


Persons interested in presenting testimony at the public hearing on Affordable Housing and Rising Construction Costs to be held on February 14, 2008, or who wish to submit written testimony only, are requested to complete and return this reply form to:

Anthony J. Kergaravat
Committee Assistant
Assembly Committee on Housing
Alfred E. Smith Office Building
80 South Swan St., Floor 22
Albany, New York 12248
Phone: (518) 455-4355
Fax: (518) 455-7250

box I plan to attend the public hearing on Affordable Housing and Rising Construction Costs to be conducted by the Assembly Committee on Housing on February 14, 2008.

box I plan to make a public statement at the hearing. My statement will be limited to 10 minutes, and I will answer any questions which may arise. I will provide 10 copies of my prepared statement.


I will address my remarks to the following subjects:

box I do not plan to attend the above hearing.

box I would like to be added to the Committee mailing list for notices and reports.

box I would like to be removed from the Committee mailing list.


I will require assistance and/or handicapped accessibility information. Please specify the type of assistance required:








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