NYS Budget Deal Reached

Bills are now printed for an “on time”, April 1 budget.  The legislature did add back funding for rural rental assistance and rural and neighborhood housing preservation programs, with a line “on budget” for these programs.  This  means for FY 2014-15, RPCs and NPC should be funded at last year’s levels, with each Coalition funded at last year’s level,  $150,000. Senator Young reaffirmed her commitment to affordable housing programs in budget conference.  The big unknown is how the JP Morgan Chase  settlement   for affordable housing programs is used. The Aid to Localities language is rather vague but places the program at the Office of Community Renewal.  Another positive note is that RESTORE budget language increases the per unit allowance to $10,000 in response to input from Rural Advocates.  Many thanks to those of you who spoke up about your community needs!

Aid to Localities bill here

Capital Projects bill here includes Housing Trust Fund at $44,200,000 and AHC Affordable Housing Program at $25,000,000. HOPE/RESTORE at $1,400,000, Main Street at $4,200,000, Access to Home at $1,000,000 and Home for Working Families at $9,000,000, Rural/Urban Community Innovation Fund at $6,750,000

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Legislators add money to the NYS Budget

Another $500,000,000 was added to the NYS 2014-15 Budget as proposed by Governor Cuomo.  From this total, $24,000,000 was added to the “table” that includes environment, agriculture and housing. You can expect leadership and legislative staffers to be working through the weekend towards an April 1 NYS budget.

State Comptroller releases housing report

The New York State Comptroller released a report today with a county by county look at the affordability of housing.  Loaded with maps and tables, he concludes ,” In 2012, more than 50 percent of New York State’s rental households and more than 30 percent of State homeowners faced housing costs above the affordability threshold of 30 percent of household income. For both renters and owners, both the number and the percentage of households with housing costs above the affordability threshold have increased since 2000. …Both the 2012 Census figures and this analysis of change since 2000 show that a larger number of New Yorkers are struggling to pay rising housing costs at a time when real incomes have been stagnant or declining. As increasing numbers of New York households experience difficulties in paying for their housing, they may be forced to reduce their spending on other goods and services, inhibiting economic growth and undermining the potential for an improved quality of life.”

Advocates go to Albany

March is a busy month with Advocates rocking the halls of the Capitol.  NYS Rural Advocates visited their legislators this week to let them know that affordable housing is a serious problem with solutions.  Legislators are  crafting their one house budgets for passage next week. Negotiations can then begin after March 12, for a final April 1 budget.

Still time to register for Albany

The NYS Rural Advocates hold their annual legislative meeting on March 3-4 in Albany.  The meeting and event will take place at the Holiday Inn Express Downtown Albany on Broadway on Monday March 3. Meetings and visits are scheduled for Tuesday, March 4. Email rural advocates at gmail for more information.

The Governor supports affordable housing in the FY 14-15 Executive Budget Proposal

 The Governor released his proposed NYS Budget with a significant commitment to affordable housing for the  2014-15 FY.  However, “flat funding” was proposed for Preservation with The Rural Preservation Program (RPC) funded at $3,539,000 or $59,000 per group using Mortgage Insurance Fund (MIF).  Funding for the Coalition and additional funding for RPC will be subject to negotiation between the Governor and the Legislature.  The Neighborhood Preservation Program (NPC) is funded at $8,479,000.  These are the same levels of funding proposed by Governor Cuomo for the current year.  The Rural Rental Assistance program, which supports many RD Section 515 multi family rental housing units, is funded from the Mortgage Insurance Fund again this year at $20,400,000 with an additional $ 612,000 for Rental Assistance proposed in the Aid to Localities budget.  These amounts should be sufficient to cover the program’s needs.

 The New York State Housing Trust Fund (HTF) is provided an increase. $44,200,000 is proposed in bonded capital and an additional $2,500,000 from the MIF.  This year the Governor proposed to provide some administrative funds to the Housing Trust Fund Corp for administration.  We support this recognition of the challenges of program administration and will encourage a set aside for small projects. 

The Affordable Housing Corporation (AHC) is funded at $25 Million. We encourage allocating an additional $25 Million from the general fund allocation for housing from the recent JPMorgan Chase settlement

The New York Main Street program is funded at $4.2 Million.   Rural Advocates would like to see a new base line established for NY Main Street at $12 million

Access to Home is proposed at $1 million,   RESTORE is proposed at $1.4 Million.   Housing Development Fund $8,227,000 and Homes for Working Families $ 1,750,000 both from bonded capital funds. The Rural/Urban Community Investment Fund is proposed to be funded at $6,750,000 from the Mortgage Insurance Fund.  The split in this program is 60/40 Urban to Rural so the rural side of the program should see about $2.7 million.

Last but certainly not least, Homeless Housing and Assistance Program (HHAP) is proposed to be funded at 63,000,000 or more than double its usual funding level.