senate Bill S740

Authorizes certain towns in the Peconic Bay region to establish community housing opportunity funds

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Bill Status

  • Introduced
  • In Committee
  • On Floor Calendar
    • Passed Senate
    • Passed Assembly
  • Delivered to Governor
  • Signed/Vetoed by Governor
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  • 15 / Jan / 2009
  • 06 / Jan / 2010


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Bill Details

See Assembly Version of this Bill:
Legislative Cycle:
Senate Local Government
Law Section:
Town Law

Sponsor Memo



An act to amend the town law, in relation to authorizing certain towns
in the Peconic Bay region to establish community housing opportunity
funds, provided that such towns adopt a housing plan adhering to smart
growth principles in conjunction with the creation of such community
housing opportunity fund


This bill authorizes certain towns in the Peconic Bay region to
establish community housing opportunity funds. Such housing plan shall
also provide for the equitable distribution of community housing
opportunities among all the hamlets and communities of the town. The
plan shall insure that no hamlet or community is sited for an undue
concentration of community housing opportunities that would
substantially alter the character of the hamlet or community. In
determining equitable distribution of community housing opportunities,
existing community housing opportunities in a hamlet or community
shall be considered.


1. The town board of any town in the Peconic Bay region is authorized
to establish by local law a community housing opportunity fund where
deposits into the fund may come from, but are not limited to:

(a) general fund balances or surpluses
(b) funds received by the town from the appointment of mortgage
recording taxes received from the county pursuant to article eleven of
the tax law
(c) funds received by the town from the sale of development rights
from a central bank created pursuant to section sixty-four-e of this
(d) any proceeds received by the local government from the sale of
affordable housing produced from revenues of the fund
(e) the repayment of any loans issued from proceeds of the fund
(f) any gifts of interests in land or funds
(g) any state or federal grants received by the town for providing
affordable homes; and
(h) funds received by the town from fees paid to the town pursuant to
an inclusionary zoning law where authorized by the legislature

-Interest accrued by monies deposited into the fund shall be credited
to the fund.
-In no event shall monies deposited into the fund be transferred to
any other account.
2. The proceeds of the fund shall be used in the following ways:
(a) The provision of no-interest or low-interest loans to eligible
residents of the town for the purchase of a first home.
(b) The actual production of community housing for sale to eligible
individuals by the town
(c) The actual production of community housing for sale to eligible
individuals in conjunction with a public/private partnership, where
the private partner agrees to comply with the profit guidelines of the
New York State affordable housing corporation.
(d) The actual production and maintenance of rental housing for rent
to eligible individuals either by the town, the town housing
authority, or in conjunction with a public/private partnership, where
the private partner agrees to comply with the profit guidelines of the
New York State affordable housing corporation.

(e) The rehabilitation of existing buildings and structures in the
town for the purpose of conversion to community housing for sale or
rental to eligible individuals.
(f) The provision of housing counseling services by not-for-profit
corporations who are authorized by the United States department of
housing and urban development to provide such services; and
(g) The provision of education impact payments to school districts.

3. This bill establishes an advisory board. It can consist of no less
than 7 members and no more than 15 members. The board must consist of
representatives from the building industry, the real estate industry,
the banking industry, and three representatives of local housing
advocacy or human services organizations. No member of the local
legislative body can serve on the advisory board. If the town consists
of villages or Native American nations, then the board must contain at
least one member from each group if they consent.

4. This bill adopts a smart housing plan which must be established
before implementing the housing plan with the fund. This plan contains
the following smart growth principles:
(a) Public investment to minimize costs
(b) Development in areas where transportation, water, and sewage
infrastructure are available
(c) Conservation of nature
(d) Coordination among communities for increased cooperation
(e) Community design to strengthen communities through development and
redevelopment strategies
(f) Transportation to provide safe, smarter, and cleaner choices for
(g) Consistency to insure predictability in building and land use
(h) Community collaboration

5. Native American nation participation shall be on an optional basis
where the nation must pass a resolution opting into the program and
submit that resolution to the town board. An intergovernmental
agreement must be executed to establish the rights and
responsibilities of each government regarding community housing

6. Referendums must be held regarding the adoption of the housing plan
and the housing fund. Only upon a successful referendum shall the
housing plan and funds be established.


The legislature hereby finds the Chapter 114 of the Laws of 1998
enacted the Peconic Bay Region Community Preservation Fund law. Said
law permitted the five towns of the Peconic Bay region to establish a
dedicated fund for the acquisition of interests in real property for
the purposes of open space, farmland, and historic preservation, as
well as park and recreation purposes. The revenue for said fund was
derived from a 2% real estate transfer tax. Community Preservation
Funds in each of the five Peconic Bay region towns were approved
overwhelmingly by public referendum.

The enactment of this land preservation has been an incredible
success. The funds have generated over $100 million as of July 2002,
resulting in thousands of acres of land being protected on eastern
Long Island. The program has received national recognition for its
innovative and creative approach to community preservation.

Just as critical to the future of the region of the human need to
protect community stability by providing for an adequate supply of
community housing opportunities for all segments of the Peconic Bay
community. The availability of affordable opportunities for moderate
income and working class residents is in critically short supply. The
adverse impacts from this shortage of housing opportunities are
critical. For example, local employers have difficulty hiring and
retaining employees because of housing and availability. Local
volunteer emergency service agencies experience difficulty in
recruitment and retention. Traffic congestion is exacerbated by the
importation of labor from areas with lower housing costs. Other land
uses such a motels, are being converted to emergency and permanent
housing. Finally, the lack of affordable housing is resulting in
residents being forced to live in substandard, illegal conditions.

It is the purpose of this legislation to give the towns of the Peconic
Bay region the authority and resources needed to establish community
housing opportunities. Specifically, this legislation would permit
each town to establish a dedicated community housing opportunity fund
to increase housing opportunities in the region. Said fund would be
financed by a combination of state and local funds. Further, a town
housing plan adhering to smart growth principles would be required to
be approved and implemented to insure that these new housing
opportunities are enacted in the context of a comprehensive plan. The
fund would be enacted by local law subject to a mandatory referendum.


2007-08, S.656; 2004-05, S.1636; 2003-04, S.4284-A.


To be determined.

This act shall take effect immediately.
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