New York’s real estate industry is looking to press ahead with the state’s COVID recovery following the resignation today (Tuesday) of Governor Andrew Cuomo.
Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul will become the Empire State’s first female governor after Cuomo announced he will resign effective in two weeks
“Given the circumstances, the best way I can help now is if I step aside and let government get back to government,” Cuomo said during a live broadcast from his Manhattan office. “And therefore that is what I’ll do, because I work for you, and doing the right thing, is doing the right thing for you.”
The resignation comes following months of sexual harassment scandal and a report issued by State Attorney General Letitia James found he had sexually harassed at least 11 current and former staffers. The report found Cuomo had broken state and federal laws with actions that included unwanted touching and remarks that made the women feel uncomfortable.
Hochul said in a Tweet, “I agree with Governor Cuomo’s decision to step down. It is the right thing to do and in the best interest of New Yorkers. As someone who has served at all levels of government and is next in the line of succession, I am prepared to lead as New York State’s 57th Governor.”
The resignation comes as New York continues to grapple with COVIDs impact on housing and the economy.
James Whelan, president of the Real Estate Board of New York (REBNY) said, “Governor Cuomo made the right decision and is doing what is best for the State and its residents. It is critical that we all stay focused on advancing New York’s economic recovery from the pandemic. We are committed to working with incoming Governor Kathy Hochul and all elected officials on efforts to ensure a strong and equitable recovery for all New Yorkers.”
Jay Martin, executive director of the Community Housing Improvement Program (CHIP), said it was vital that Gov. Hochul helps tackle the ongoing crises, stating, “Our housing operators and managers look forward to working with the future governor as soon as possible to reform the Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP), to make sure struggling renters and their housing providers quickly receive the federal funds they deserve.
“This program has been a failure, creating stress and anxiety for tens of thousands of renters and property owners. It must be fixed immediately to make sure people are housed as they rebuild their lives after the COVID-19 pandemic.
“New York also has decades-old structural problems when it comes to providing affordable housing for all its residents. We hope the new governor will work with multifamily housing owners to make substantive reforms.”
New York Senators Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand both released the statements following Governor Cuomo’s announcement.
“First, I want to commend the brave women who stepped forward and courageously told their stories. There is no place for sexual harassment, and today’s announcement by Governor Cuomo to resign was the right decision for the good of the people of New York,” said Schumer.
“I have full confidence that Lt Governor Hochul will establish a professional and capable administration. I have spoken with Lt Governor Hochul and look forward to working together to help the people of New York. “
Gillibrand said in her statement: “New York now has a chance to move forward and build a new culture of leadership. Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul is an exceptional public servant and will be an excellent governor. I look forward to working together to continue serving the people of our great state.”
While he has denied several of the claims made against him, Cuomo said he acknowledged he may have offended some women. “In my mind, I have never crossed the line with anyone,” he said during his press conference. “But I didn’t realize the extent to which the line has been redrawn.
“Thank you for letting me serve you. It has been the honor of a lifetime.”