The Real Deal New York

Whole lotta moola, not a lot of details about state’s $2B for housing

Officials are finally hinting at how the funding will be spent
April 21, 2016 05:40PM


From left: Andrew Cuomo and James Rubin

Earlier this month, the state allocated a huge chunk of money — $2 billion — for housing, but nearly three weeks on, the details on how it would be doled out are scant.

The lack of specifics about the funding, which was included in the final state budget passed this month, raised the alarm of affordable housing advocates who worry that negotiating over details could delay future projects.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo and the leaders of the state Senate and Assembly must hammer out an agreement — a memorandum of understanding — on how the funding will be allocated over the next five years, Crain’s reported.

“There are enough barriers to building affordable housing,” said Rachel Fee, head of the New York Housing Conference. “And we don’t want a [memorandum of understanding] to be one of them.”

There are some hints as to how the money will be spent, including expanding a program focused on building housing for middle-income households and possibly creating a new program to create senior housing, according to Crain’s. Over the next five years, the state plans to preserve 50,000 affordable units and build 50,000 new ones.

Rumors that Cuomo would tie the agreement to the lapsed tax abatement 421a, delaying the funding’s release caused a stir, but James Rubin, the commissioner of NYS Homes and Community Renewal, said at a panel Wednesday there was no connection, according to Crain’s. [Crain’s]Dusica Sue Malesevic