Affordable housing is under threat across New York State with increasing rent costs, a record homeless population, a growing senior population, and a continued foreclosure crisis. Fortunately, there are solutions and we’re excited to be a part of a coalition of 10 affordable housing groups that released a five year, $4 billion capital recommended plan to address our state’s housing crisis. The plan covers a wide range of issues threatening affordable housing throughout the state including senior housing, foreclosure, homelessness, land costs, tenant displacement, and many others.

The coalition, New York Affordable Housing Stakeholders, represents over 1000 affordable housing organizations, businesses, advocates, and service providers. Our plan outlines a statewide strategy of pursuing both (1) a revitalization of economically distressed neighborhoods and (2) housing options in “high-opportunity” neighborhoods. The plan calls for the allocation of at least $1 billion in bank settlement funds to be dedicated to housing programs, from the approximately $2.5 billion in bank funds to New York State that have accumulated since January 2015.

The plan includes $250 million in funding over the next five years to support initiatives that aim to support low and moderate income prospective and current homeowners. These initiatives include:

  • Housing counseling and legal services, which help prospective home-buyers with pre-purchase counseling, and current homeowners with foreclosure prevention assistance and resiliency retro-fitting.

  • The New York State Mortgage Assistance Program, which provides 0% 30 year foreclosure prevention loans of up to $40,000.

  • The NYS Community Restoration Fund, which will purchase distressed mortgage notes in the communities hit hardest by the foreclosure crisis and then intervene with home-saving mortgage modifications and other tools to preserve this stock of affordable housing.

  • The single-family home repair fund, which will increase existing grant resources for home repairs, as well as pilot loan loss reserves/guarantees to encourage banks and other financial institutions to make loans to homeowners with property maintenance needs related to foreclosure.

  • Finally, the NYS downpayment assistance funding will provide downpayment assistance in high markets to supplement resources that may have eligibility resources.

Together we can ensure all New Yorkers have safe, affordable homes, and we believe this plan provides a strong path for getting there. We hope that as Governor Cuomo and the members of the State Legislature will implement these recommendations in the 2016-2017 budget.