The Real Deal New York

Albany’s lack of action may put more than 1,300 affordable housing units in NYC-area at risk: NYSAFAH

Developers' group urges lawmakers to sign agreement needed to disburse $2B
July 05, 2016 04:55PM

From left: John Flanagan, Carl Heastie, and Gov. Andrew Cuomo

From left: John Flanagan, Carl Heastie and Andrew Cuomo

When Gov. Andrew Cuomo and the State Legislature agreed last month to only release $150 million for affordable housing, they imperiled nearly 3,000 affordable and supportive housing units, according to a trade group that represents affordable housing developers.

The New York State Association for Affordable Housing (NYSAFAH) released a survey on Tuesday of developers and housing agencies that found that at least 2,935 planned affordable housing units — 1,360 of which are in New York City and Long Island — were at risk of not moving forward this year, the New York Daily News reported. The units are jeopardized, NYSAFAH argues, because lawmakers are yet to sign a memorandum of understanding required to release the full $2 billion allocated in this year’s budget for the units. In the final hours of the legislative session, Albany agreed to only release $150 million.

“Gov. Cuomo, Speaker Heastie and Majority Leader Flanagan must fulfill their commitment by immediately signing the full $2 billion MOU,” a coalition of advocates, including NYSAFAH, said in a joint statement. “They are already on the verge of letting thousands of affordable units slip away. When New Yorkers demand an answer to the housing and homelessness crisis, they deserve leadership, not excuses.”

Some reports tied the MOU to ongoing negotiations over the lapsed 421a tax break, which also failed to reemerge before the end of the session. A replacement program — 421aa — also didn’t make it out of committee. [NYDN] — Kathryn Brenzel