Cuomo may pull hundreds of millions in affordable housing funds to city

Governor seeks to bolster state’s own building initiative, punish de Blasio: report
March 01, 2016 09:34AM

Gov. Andrew Cuomo is considering a steep reduction in state help for New York City’s affordable housing programs.

The city may lose a large share of up to $900 million in federal tax-exempt bonds that the state provides annually.

The state funds have been a lynchpin of the city’s affordable housing efforts for decades. The city received $694 million in bonds from the state for that purpose in 2015 (far short of what was anticipated), and $868 million in 2014.

The money could be redirected to Cuomo’s own $10 billion statewide affordable housing initiative, the New York Times reported, citing sources familiar with meetings on the subject between state and city officials.

The financing played a part in almost half of the 40,000 or so affordable units built in the city over those years.

Over the past few months, Cuomo has repeatedly taken or considered steps that would have the effect of undermining the plans of Mayor Bill de Blasio, who has emerged as a fierce political rival to the governor, despite the fact that both are Democrats.

Late last year, the state denied the city’s request for $150 million in the same federal bonds to fund the planned construction of 1,200 affordable units.

Projects such as Douglaston Development’s Seaview on Staten Island have been delayed because the city didn’t receive the full bond allocation it anticipated in 2015.

Cuomo also intervened in negotiations over the 421a tax abatement, pushing for more stringent requirements on developers that ultimately contributed to the failure of negotiations. [NYT]Ariel Stulberg