Housing groups criticize Cuomo’s delay of $2B funding deal

Governor said funds won’t be divvied up this year

Andrew Cuomo
Andrew Cuomo

Gov. Andrew Cuomo effectively delayed an agreement Thursday on a $2 billion state plan to build affordable housing until 2017, a move that drew the ire of housing advocacy groups.

“Everybody is sitting on their hands,” Shelly Nortz, of advocacy group Coalition for the Homeless, told Crain’s.

In April, Cuomo signed a state budget that included $2 billion to support the construction of affordable housing. But Cuomo and both legislatures still have to agree on how and where to spend the money. By the end of the most recent legislative session they only did so for $150 million of the funds. On Thursday Cuomo said he doesn’t expect the rest of the money to be divvied up before next year.

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“From my point of view, the funding for this year is in place,” Cuomo said. “The funding for next year we wouldn’t spend until next year anyway. You do it in January, you get to the same point anyway.”

In a statement, the umbrella group Campaign 4 NY/NY Housing criticized Cuomo for failing to sign a memorandum of understanding on how to spend the funds.

“We are disappointed to hear that Governor Cuomo is not committed to signing the MOU eight months after he promised to create 20,000 units of supportive housing for homeless New Yorkers,” the statement read, according to Crain’s. [NYDN] and [Crains]Konrad Putzier