Bill Preempting Landmarks Protections for Historic Religious Sites Comes Down to the Wire

As we’ve reported, in response to pushback by Village Preservation and others, there’s been some progress on the so-called “Faith-Based Affordable Housing Act,” a bill in Albany that in its original form would have circumvented landmarks protections to allow the alteration and demolition of historic landmarked religious sites. While some (but not enough) improvements have been made to one house’s version of the bill, the other house’s version remains unchanged. A tremendous campaign had been waged, led by real estate front group Open NY, which advocates for removing landmarks and neighborhood zoning protections, to have the bill approved as part of the budget deal in Albany this spring. That effort failed after the legislators received thousands of letters in opposition.

This session of the State Legislature ends Thursday, June 6. While we hear the bill is in limbo due to the unexpected opposition, we take nothing for granted. It’s critical this harmful legislation not pass in the final hours of session. 


June 4, 2024