Speaker Carl Heastie, Housing Committee Chair Linda B. Rosenthal and Local Governments Committee Chair Fred W. Thiele, Jr. today announced that the Assembly State Fiscal Year (SFY) 2023-24 Budget makes critical investments in fighting homelessness, ending the housing crisis and putting homeownership within reach of more New Yorkers.
“The Assembly Majority believes that not only does every New Yorker deserves access to safe affordable housing, but they deserve to have homeownership within reach,” Speaker Heastie said. “Our budget invests in programs to help those struggling financially to stay in their homes and avoid homeless, and to help put an end to the housing crisis by building new homes.”
“Under the leadership of Speaker Heastie, the Assembly’s proposed housing budget addresses the vital issues and urgent concerns of beleaguered New Yorkers,” said Assemblymember Rosenthal. “For decades, status quo policies have led to spiraling rents, evictions, foreclosures, overcrowded shelters, dilapidated housing authority developments and land speculation. The opportunity for New Yorkers to become homeowners diminishes every year. Instead of allowing history to repeat itself, we are paving a path forward by providing funding to pay rental arrears for public housing authorities and affordable housing developments, offer New Yorkers affordable homeownership opportunities, a statewide housing voucher program to help unhoused people and those on the edge of eviction, and greater protections for tenants against exorbitant increases and unjustified evictions. As we march toward the April 1st deadline, I look forward to working with my colleagues and the Governor to continue crafting a housing plan that includes the voices and realities of all New Yorkers.”
“This budget, and the investment in building new housing across the state, is an investment in our families and in our future,” Assemblymember Thiele said. “Every person deserves access to safe and affordable housing, and this plan would allow municipalities to build the housing necessary for our people to live and thrive here in New York State.”
The Assembly budget includes a proposed $1.5 billion to assist tenants with arrears and provide homeowner assistance. This program would provide:
- $500 million for Foundation for Futures;
- $385 million for Rental Arrears Assistance;
- $250 million for the Housing Access Voucher Program;
- $250 million for Homeownership Funds to support investments in community land trusts, conversion of rental housing to homeownership housing, and tenant and tenant organization ownership of housing accommodations;
- $100 million for First Time Homeowner Assistance to support down payment and closing costs for low- and moderate-income home buyers;
- $10 million for the Small Rental Housing Development Initiative; and
- $10 million for land banks.
In order to help fight homelessness in New York State, the Assembly budget would create the Housing Access Voucher Program, which would provide rental assistance to individuals and families who are homeless or at risk of homelessness.
The Assembly will also continue to explore pathways to protect tenants from arbitrary and capricious rent increases and unreasonable evictions of paying tenants.
The Assembly spending plan also includes $40 million for the Homeowner Protection Program (HOPP), which provides foreclosure prevention services to low-income and working-class families. Additionally, the budget would require the development and administration of a new statewide limited equity cooperative program, Foundations for Futures, to provide affordable homeownership opportunities for low- and middle-income families.
This budget would increase funding coming from the Mortgage Insurance Fund by $3.75 million for a total of $21.9 million in order to allocate additional funds for the Neighborhood Preservation Program (NPP) and Rural Preservation Program (RPP).
The Assembly budget proposal creates the Homeownership Opportunity Connection Program to better connect residents of communities with below average homeownership rates and not-for-profit housing organizations with the multitude of homeownership programs funded within the state’s multi-year housing program. Additionally, the Assembly establishes a Special Joint Legislative Commission on Affordable Housing to make recommendations to the Legislature on how to preserve and maintain existing affordable housing, to support the development of new affordable housing in the state, to strengthen and grow diverse and stable communities, and to maximize the impact of private, state, local and federal resources by ensuring long term affordability.
The Assembly Majority is committed to addressing the housing shortage, and would incentivize the development of new housing in municipalities across the state. In contrast to the executive plan, which would override local zoning, the Assembly plan would provide $500 million in total funding for cities, towns and villages, excluding New York City. Municipalities would receive an initial payment upon submission of a housing action plan, and a secondary payment if they meet housing growth targets (three percent for downstate communities and one percent for upstate communities) during a three year period. Achievement of growth rates would be calculated with consideration for affordability, rehabilitation of abandoned buildings, transit-oriented development and zoning changes. Municipalities that receive incentive funding but fail to achieve growth targets risk having to repay the funding.
The Assembly plan also provides $125 million for a similar new homes incentive program for New York City. Similar to statewide program, New York City would be eligible for an initial payment for submitting a housing growth plan, and would be eligible for a secondary payment if three percent growth is achieved citywide during the three year target period.