Advocates Are Talking Infrastructure

The Rural Housing Coalition hosted regional meetings around the State in June and Rural Advocate Board Members took the opportunity to present an update on the  State Housing Budget.  What gaps still remain in providing affordable housing in rural New York?  Access to potable, running water and safe disposal of household waste were two housing areas with costs that present an undue hardship to those of modest incomes.  It was agreed that costs of $30,000 for those two items were pretty typical.  This amount is clearly unaffordable when combined with other structural repairs, yet a home is not considered safe and sanitary without taking care of water and waste disposal. Advocates want to hear from you. What would you consider a fair, equitable way to address infrastructure for individual homeowners that would be consistent with smart growth practices?  What range of homeowner contribution would be reasonable?  What typical costs are you seeing in the region?

State Budget News – Settlement Funds used for increases over multiple years

Rural and Neighborhood Preservation and Coalitions have been funded by the Mortgage Insurance Fund at last year’s levels with additional JP Morgan Chase funding $20,259,000 over the next three years.  It is hoped that this allocation will postpone the ”annual RPC/ NPC dance” for a few years.

Along with annual appropriations, increases to programs were made from JP Morgan Chase settlement funds to be distributed over 2-3 years.  There was a significant increase to the annual appropriation of Main Street with an annual line of $4.2 and an additional $5.5 million.  NYS AHC was funded at $29 million, Access to Home, RESTORE, Rural and Urban Community Investment Fund, HHAP and HTF all have increased funding levels. With the combined funding,  it is unclear right now how much will be distributed annually

NYS Budget agreement reached

A framework for agreement on the budget was reached over the weekend that will result in an on-time budget.  Not all budget bills were introduced, so the details are not yet available. The Senate will meet Monday afternoon for a de-briefing on the budget when we can expect to learn more about settlement fund spending decisions and how they impact housing and communities.

Table targets released and NYS housing budget negotiations begin

Thirty million dollars will be available for the Environment/ Agriculture/Housing table.  Negotiations will take place through the weekend in hopes of an on-time budget.  Concern that NYS budget surplus this year as a result from bank settlements be directed toward housing was voiced by Senator Espaillat, specifically that funds go to the NYC Housing Authority. Assemblyman Wright, Housing Committee Chair, indicated that his house allocated 100 million dollars for NYCHA

NYS Budget Negotiations Underway

With both Senate and Assembly each  passing a one house budget resolution this week, the first meeting of the “mothership” or joint conference committee has met.  We believe there is support demonstrated from all the men and women in the room for housing and community development.

The Senate budget includes a  1:1 water quality infrastructure matching program for communities to leverage one billion dollars from the State’s Clean and Drinking Water revolving loan fund.   Senate budget calls for $700 million for regionally significant economic development projects statewide to help create jobs, $25 million for Upstate transit capital projects and $50 million for the Main Street Revitalization program to assist local governments in cleaning up blighted areas. These are all programs supported and part of the Rural Advocates Legislative Agenda.

The Assembly also supports housing and community development. While leaving RPC/NPC as proposed by the Executive, funds were shifted from 15 to 5 million for CDFI, 50 million to 0 for the Low and Middle  Income Housing Program and increased from 50 million to 110 million for Mitchell-Lama Repair and Revitalization