Cuomo announces $486M affordable housing investment

But tenant advocates slam his failure to talk up rent-stabilization laws
January 21, 2015 05:40PM

Governor Andrew Cuomo said in his State of the State speech today that New York will invest $486 million to help build and preserve low-cost housing in the state.

About $257 million of those funds would come out of the state’s share of a $13 billion settlement with JPMorgan Chase over mortgage-bond sales, he said.

The New York State Association for Affordable Housing gave the governor’s agenda its seal of approval. “Today, the Governor demonstrated his understanding that the development and preservation of affordable housing are critical to building strong communities throughout New York State,” said a spokesperson for the influential trade group, which represents affordable housing developers.

Some tenant advocates, however, highlighted the fact that Cuomo made no reference to rent-stabilization laws. “Everyone knows Cuomo’s re-election was heavily financed by landlords and real-estate executives,” said Delsenia Glover, a leader of Alliance for Tenant Power, and now he is continuing to do their bidding by ignoring the need for stronger rent laws.”

Glover said that the governor’s “silence today on the affordable housing crisis was shameful and wrong,” and called on him to strengthen rent laws that are set to expire in June.

The majority of Cuomo’s top donors come from the real estate community, as The Real Deal and others have reported.

On Jan. 14, Cuomo announced a $1.7 billion break on New York state property taxes, which he said would benefit more than 1 million homeowners and another 1 million renters. — Hiten Samtani