1. The Laws of New York
  2. Unconsolidated Laws
  3. Urban Development Corporation Act 174/68


Section 16-D Urban and community development program

Urban Development Corporation Act 174/68 (UDA)

(1) Definitions. For the purposes of this section:

  (a) "Business improvement district" shall mean a special assessment district established pursuant to article nineteen-A of the general municipal law.

  (b) "Business district" or "central business district" shall mean the central district of a municipality or neighborhood area traditionally used for commercial purposes.

  (c) "Commercial strip" shall mean a predominantly commercial area traditionally used for commercial purposes which may not be the primary business district and which is one of several commercial districts in the municipality in which it is located.

  (d) "Economically distressed areas" shall mean areas as determined by the corporation meeting criteria indicative of economic distress, including unemployment rate; rate of employment change; percentages and numbers of low-income persons; per capita income and per capita real property wealth; such other indicators of distress as the corporation shall determine. Economically distressed areas may include cities, municipalities, block numbering areas, and census tracts.

  (e) "Highly distressed" shall mean suffering from severe economic distress as determined by the corporation using criteria similar to those set forth in subdivision (a) of section nine hundred fifty-eight of article eighteen-B of the general municipal law for determining eligibility for empire zone status.

  (f) "Not-for-profit corporation" shall mean a corporation organized under the provisions of the not-for-profit corporation law.

  (2) Urban and community development program. The corporation shall establish an urban and community development program which shall offer the following assistance:

  (a) Urban and community development assistance grants pursuant to subdivision five of this section.

  (b) Urban and community project development assistance pursuant to subdivision six of this section.

  (c) Neighborhood and community partnership assistance pursuant to subdivision seven of this section.

  (d) Urban and community commercial revitalization revolving loan fund assistance pursuant to subdivision eight of this section.

  (e) Urban and community technical assistance pursuant to subdivision nine of this section.

  (3) Applications. Applications for support under this program shall be made in a form and manner as determined by the corporation and applicants shall be required to meet the criteria and requirements established by the corporation, which shall include but not be limited to:

  (a) Factors of economic distress;

  (b) The extent of support for, and involvement in, the program or project of units of local government, the local business community and local economic development professionals; and

  (c) Such other requirements as are necessary to implement the provisions of this section.

  (4) Preference. Preference will be given to projects which are located in highly distressed communities, and for which other public or private funding sources are not available.

  (5) Urban and community development assistance grants. (a) Grants awarded under this subdivision shall be awarded on a competitive basis, in response to requests for proposals, and through direct applications accepted at other times at the discretion of the corporation, distributed to business improvement districts, local development corporations, municipalities and other not-for-profit economic development organizations by the corporation for the purpose of soliciting applications. Requests for proposals under this subdivision shall set forth such criteria as the corporation deems necessary, including those set forth in subdivision three of this section and including, but not limited to the following:

  (i) the potential impact the proposed project would have on economic development and employment opportunities in the community and the region; and

  (ii) the existence of significant support for such activities from the local business community, local government and community organizations within the community, including the commitment of financial resources.

  (b) The corporation is hereby authorized, under this subdivision to:

  (i) provide grants to business improvement districts, local development corporations, other not-for-profit economic development organizations, and municipalities involved in commercial revitalization activities in central business districts or commercial strips, such activities to include architectural design studies and services and other redevelopment work in connection with the design and implementation of a plan for facade and other improvements to commercial strips and central business districts throughout New York state. Such grants may include monies available for individual property owners and/or tenants who agree to improve their property in accordance with an overall design plan, provided that, such individual property owners and/or tenants shall be required to match the amount of any grant awarded to them.

  (ii) provide grants to local development corporations, business improvement districts and other not-for-profit organizations for studies, surveys or reports, and feasibility studies and preliminary planning studies to assess a particular site or sites or facility or facilities for any economic development purpose other than residential; and to identify development opportunities within established business improvement districts.

  (iii) provide urban planning grants on a matching basis to cities, counties, or municipalities desiring to prepare and develop strategic development plans for a city, county, or municipality or a significant part thereof.

  (iv) provide grants to municipalities for studies, surveys, or reports and feasibility studies or preliminary planning studies to assess the economic viability and local credit needs of the community for the purposes of establishing a banking development district pursuant to section ninety-six-d of the banking law.

  (c) Notwithstanding anything contained to the contrary in this subdivision, section ten and subdivision two of section sixteen of this act shall not apply to any grants authorized under this subdivision.

  (6) Urban and community project development assistance. (a) Grants, loans and loan guarantees authorized pursuant to this subdivision shall be limited to fifty percent of the actual cost of the proposed projects, and shall be located in empire zones designated pursuant to article eighteen-B of the general municipal law or in highly distressed areas.

  (b) The corporation is hereby authorized, under this subdivision to: provide loans, loan guarantees and grants for projects as set forth in paragraph (c) of this subdivision, and to provide project development assistance by the corporation acting as a project developer pursuant to paragraph (d) of this subdivision.

  (c) Project development loans, loan guarantees and grants. (i) The corporation may make loans, loan guarantees and grants in accordance with the provisions of this act for which no other funds of the corporation are available, with the exception of the appropriations for this program and moneys reappropriated under the high risk targeted investment program, for the acquisition, renovation, and construction of commercial industrial and mixed-use facilities, or for feasibility or planning studies in connection with such development.

  (ii) Such projects shall include projects related to the implementation of necessary construction and reconstruction projects identified or planned under grants received pursuant to subdivision five of this section.

  (iii) Projects intended to be publicly-owned shall not be eligible for financial assistance in connection with the acquisition, construction or renovation of a facility or development hereunder unless such project is leased to a private enterprise.

  (d) Notwithstanding anything contained to the contrary in this subdivision, section ten and subdivision two of section sixteen of this act shall not apply to any feasibility grants or planning studies authorized under paragraph (c) of this subdivision.

  (e) Project development assistance. (i) The corporation may act as developer in the acquisition, renovation, construction, leasing or sale of development projects, other than residential projects, authorized pursuant to this act in order to stimulate private sector investment within the affected community.

  (ii) In acting as a developer, the corporation may borrow for purposes of this paragraph for approved projects in which the lender's recourse is solely to the assets of the project, and may make such arrangements and agreements with community-based organizations and local development corporations as may be required to carry out the purposes of this section.

  (iii) Prior to developing any such project, the corporation shall secure a firm commitment from entities, independent of the corporation, for the purchase or lease of such project.

  (iv) Projects authorized under this paragraph whether developed by the corporation or a private developer, must be located in either state-designated empire zones or in highly distressed communities.

  (v) The corporation, for purposes of this paragraph shall only select projects that have project costs not to exceed three million dollars of which the corporation's participation shall not exceed sixty percent of the total, for which there is a demonstrated demand within the particular community.

  (f) Any other provisions of this subdivision notwithstanding, the corporation may establish a loan guarantee program in conjunction with banks and other financial institutions to guarantee working capital loans and loans for real estate, construction and renovations to not-for-profit community and economic development organizations that serve highly distressed areas.

  (7) Neighborhood and community partnership. (a) There is hereby created within the urban and community development program a neighborhood and community partnership program which shall be used to support regional and local activities designed to retain existing businesses and jobs within a region or locality, increase the viability of existing businesses, and stimulate and encourage the formation of new enterprises and small business growth.

  (b) The corporation shall, within available appropriations, award grants or enter into contracts for services to eligible entities and organizations as set forth in this subdivision on a competitive basis, in response to requests for proposals, and through direct applications accepted at other times at the discretion of the corporation. Grants shall not exceed one hundred thousand dollars per project, and an applicant shall be permitted to apply for support in more than one project area listed under paragraph (e) of this subdivision, but the sum total of grants received under this subdivision by any one applicant for more than one project approved under paragraph (e) of this subdivision shall not exceed two hundred fifty thousand dollars.

  (c) For the purposes of this subdivision the corporation shall enter into annual contracts for services or award grants in an amount not to exceed fifty percent of program or project costs in economically distressed areas, or forty percent of such costs for eligible projects or programs in non-economically distressed areas, or seventy percent of program or project costs in empire zones established pursuant to article eighteen-B of the general municipal law.

  (d) The corporation shall enter into no more than one contract or make more than one grant per year per application under this subdivision regardless of the number of projects for which an applicant has applied and for which funding has been approved. In the case of applications for multiple projects to be conducted by a single applicant, the corporation may, at its discretion, provide a grant or enter into a contract for services with the applicant for some or all of the projects for which an applicant has applied.

  (e) Not-for-profit corporations, business improvement districts and community development organizations shall be eligible to apply for support under this subdivision to operate a program or programs of business and economic development services to stabilize, retain or revitalize existing businesses, and to assist small and new businesses, including, but not limited to assistance to individual businesses or business sectors in such project areas as:

  (i) the analysis of industrial sectors;

  (ii) the provision of services, such as regulatory compliance, security and marketing, to industries;

  (iii) productivity assistance to mature industries and small businesses, including but not limited to, high performance work organization and quality improvement programs;

  (iv) labor-management cooperation specific to an area or industry;

  (v) management services to industrial parks and incubator facilities;

  (vi) the creation of business support networks, including flexible manufacturing networks composed of small businesses, surveys of existing businesses and business sectors, the formation of quality networks, the targeting of firms or sectors with networking potential, analysis of network firms' production potential, group marketing, group purchasing, shared employee programs, and the establishment of regular lines of communication between such firms;

  (vii) the establishment and staffing of network service centers for flexible manufacturing networks, combining business services, marketing/procurement assistance, and technology demonstration/training centers, such centers to be industry managed and to maintain strong connections to labor unions, universities, and the services provided through the industrial effectiveness program pursuant to article seven of the economic development law, local or federal economic assistance programs;

  (viii) export, marketing, procurement and subcontracting assistance to small and medium-sized industrial firms, including minority- and women-owned businesses, and to flexible manufacturing networks, and programs to assist regional and multi-county business marketing and procurement programs;

  (ix) assistance to targeted incubator facilities to support new firms producing products and services for which there exists a stable demand but no local production;

  (x) business planning, management assistance and counseling, and financial packaging assistance to small and medium-sized industrial firms, including minority- and women-owned businesses, flexible manufacturing networks, and new enterprises and small businesses, including the establishment of neighborhood-based business service centers designed to deliver comprehensive technical assistance to new and small businesses in specific communities and neighborhoods;

  (xi) programs to assist economically distressed regions and communities to identify new business opportunities, plan for new enterprise development, and manage economic development projects;

  (xii) innovative programs of public and private cooperation to foster new enterprise development and small business growth;

  (xiii) programs to assist new enterprises and small businesses to identify and access public and private sources of equity, working capital and other types of financing;

  (xiv) programs that improve the ability of small businesses to access state job training programs;

  (xv) programs to assess the need for, or to implement total quality management training programs, employee retraining, and skills remediation and/or upgrading;

  (xvi) employment exchange services such as job placement and job development;

  (xvii) tourism matching grants to regions, as defined by the commissioner of economic development, to conduct tourism marketing, promotion and information activities;

  (xviii) programs to assist small businesses in developing workplace policies, including but not limited to the design of employee benefit and assistance programs and developing child care programs;

  (xix) assistance to formulate and implement a business retention strategy developed by the corporation in cooperation with a local development corporation. Such assistance may include grants to local development corporations as well as funding for services and expenses for that purpose.

  (g) Applications for support or assistance under this subdivision shall be made in a form and manner as determined by the corporation, and applicants shall be required to meet the criteria and requirements set forth in subdivision three of this section and other criteria and requirements determined by the corporation pursuant to this act, including:

  (i) the likelihood that state assistance will enable local not-for-profit organizations or other eligible organizations to provide services and activities not otherwise provided in the area served by the applicant;

  (ii) the potential of the project or program to stimulate or enhance economic development in the area and to create or retain substantial, permanent private sector jobs;

  (iii) the innovative nature of the proposed project or program in furtherance of community economic development; and

  (iv) the demonstrated ability of the applicant to deliver the proposed assistance and services.

  (h) Projects and programs in communities that do not qualify as economically distressed areas shall be eligible for funding under this subdivision if such projects meet one or more of the following purposes:

  (i) projects located in a non-distressed area that will significantly contribute to the revitalization of an economically distressed area;

  (ii) support for business development projects of women, members of minority groups, or dislocated workers;

  (iii) assistance to small or medium-sized manufacturing firms which are seeking to modernize to remain competitive;

  (iv) projects to diversify the economic base of a community heavily dependent on a single industry;

  (v) projects that will prevent the loss or significant contraction of a company which is the primary employer in a community, or where loss of a company would have a major adverse impact on a community's overall economic condition;

  (vi) projects involving expanding companies that will create substantial numbers of new, private sector jobs;

  (vii) projects creating permanent private sector jobs for dislocated workers, public assistance recipients, or the long-term unemployed; or

  (viii) projects that are an integral part of a community commercial revitalization strategy which contributes to the economic health of a community, including the provision of matching funds to newly formed business improvement districts pursuant to paragraph (i) of this subdivision.

  (i) Notwithstanding any other subdivision of this section, the corporation may make grants to newly formed small- and medium-sized business improvement districts during their first three years of operation. Such grants shall provide up to sixty-six percent of eligible project costs in highly distressed areas and up to fifty percent of project costs in distressed areas.

  (j) Notwithstanding anything contained to the contrary in this subdivision, section ten and subdivision two of section sixteen of this act shall not apply to any grants authorized under this subdivision.

  (8) Urban and community commercial revitalization revolving loan and loan guarantee fund. (a) The corporation shall, from any appropriations made available for this purpose, establish an urban and community commercial revitalization revolving loan fund account and a related administrative expenses trust fund account in order to stimulate the development of central business districts and commercial strips through a decentralized lending program operated in conjunction with business improvement districts, local development corporations and other not-for-profit corporations serving central business districts or commercial strips. Assistance from this subdivision will be awarded through a competitive process initiated by the urban development corporation, which includes a request for proposals as well as direct applications accepted at other times at the discretion of the corporation.

  (b) Loans and loan guarantees made from the urban and community commercial revitalization revolving loan fund shall be for improvements, expansions, and start-ups of businesses located in central business districts and commercial strips.

  (c) Such loans and loan guarantees shall be administered by qualified business improvement districts, local development corporations and other not-for-profit corporations designated by the corporation on a competitive basis pursuant to a request for proposals process.

  (d) For the purpose of this subdivision, "local trust fund account" and "local revolving loan fund" shall mean a local urban and community commercial revitalization revolving loan fund account.

  (e) The corporation shall pay into such fund any monies made available to the corporation for such fund from any source including monies appropriated by the state and any income earned by, or incremental to, the fund due to the investment thereof, or any repayment of monies advanced from the fund. The monies held in or credited to the fund shall be expended for the purposes set forth in this subdivision and may not be interchanged with any other account or fund, but may be commingled with any other account for investment purposes. All loans disbursed by the corporation from such fund shall be repaid into the fund.

  (f) The corporation shall allocate any monies made available for such fund for the purpose of establishing local trust fund accounts and a corresponding number of local administrative expenses trust fund accounts.

  (g) The corporation shall establish a local administrative expenses trust fund account for the benefit of each entity selected to administer a local trust fund account pursuant to the following conditions:

  (i) the initial deposit in each local administrative expenses trust fund account shall be in an amount to be determined by the corporation, but shall not exceed twenty-five thousand dollars;

  (ii) an entity designated to administer a local trust fund account may use the funds in its local administrative expenses trust fund account for expenses incurred by it in the start-up and administration of the financial and technical assistance programs it is required to administer under this section; and

  (iii) the corporation shall also deposit into each local administrative expenses trust fund account:

  (A) all income earned from the moneys on deposit in the corresponding local loan trust fund account during the first year of the entity's administration of said account. Beginning with its second year in administering a local revolving loan trust fund account, said amounts may be used for costs incurred by the entity in administering the local revolving loan trust fund account; and

  (B) repayments of interest on loans made from the corresponding local revolving loan trust fund account. Such funds may be used for costs incurred at any time by an administering entity in its administration of a local revolving loan trust fund hereunder;

  (iv) funds deposited in an administrative expenses trust fund account shall be disbursed by the corporation to the entity that administers the corresponding local revolving loan trust fund account on a semiannual basis and shall be expended by the entity in accordance with a semiannual budget and any updates of same approved by the corporation.

  (g-1) Notwithstanding any other provision in this subdivision, where applicable, the corporation is authorized to enter into agreements as may be necessary for the administration and reporting of funds repaid, received, expended or collected in a manner consistent with the provisions in section sixteen-t of this act. The use of such funds by the corporation shall be consistent with the terms, conditions and restrictions set forth in this section, to provide financial assistance to eligible entities as designated under this subdivision. Outstanding expenses, loans and other obligations executed prior to the effective date of this paragraph shall be subject to the terms and conditions of the original contract or contracts.

  (h) To be eligible to apply for designation to administer a local trust fund account, a not-for-profit corporation shall be required to:

  (i) have represented on its board of directors, in such cases where an area to be served by a local trust fund account has located within its service area an empire zone designated pursuant to section nine hundred sixty of the general municipal law, one or more of the following:

  (A) an empire zone capital corporation if established pursuant to section nine hundred sixty-four of the general municipal law; or

  (B) community based local development corporations, industrial development agencies, or other not-for-profit entities which serve a municipality in which an empire zone has been established and which, as one of their primary purposes, provide services and assistance to business enterprises located or to be located in such empire zone, including minority- and women-owned businesses;

  (ii) have represented on its board of directors, selected local and community development corporations, industrial development agencies, and other not-for-profit entities that provide services to community businesses and, as one of their primary purposes, provide services and assistance to business enterprises located in central business districts or commercial strips;

  (iii) have strong written commitments from any empire zone capital corporation, local and community development corporation, industrial development agency, and other not-for-profit entities, if represented on its board, to assist the not-for-profit corporation in administering the local trust fund account, including the provision of business planning, loan application preparation, loan application analysis, management and other technical assistance as needed;

  (iv) have staff, or have access to staff from organizations which participate in the administration of a designated local revolving loan trust fund with sufficient expertise to analyze applications for financial assistance, to regularly monitor financial assistance to clients, and to provide or arrange for the provision of management or technical assistance to clients;

  (v) have an effective plan to market its services and market programs provided by the corporation and the department of economic development; and

  (vi) have established a loan committee composed of six or more persons experienced in business management, commercial lending or in the operation of a for-profit business. Such committee shall review every application submitted by an eligible entity for financial assistance from the local trust fund account and shall determine the feasibility of the project proposed in the application and the likelihood of repayment of the requested financing and recommend to the governing body of the eligible entity such action as the loan committee deems appropriate.

  (i) Any entity selected to administer a local revolving loan trust fund account shall be eligible to draw funds from the account as needed to provide the following types of financial assistance to eligible businesses upon certification to and acceptance by the corporation that such assistance complies with rules and regulations promulgated by the corporation:

  (i) working capital loans, provided that the amount of the loan does not exceed fifteen thousand dollars and the term of the loan does not exceed five years; and

  (ii) loans for the acquisition and/or improvement of real property and for the acquisition of machinery and equipment, provided that the amount of the loan does not exceed twenty thousand dollars and the term of the loan does not exceed the useful life of the equipment or property.

  (j) Any other provisions of this subdivision notwithstanding, the corporation may enter into agreements for other types of locally, community or regionally administered loan programs interested in making small loans, including micro-loans, administered by municipalities and not-for-profit organizations, to provide loans to businesses located in commercial strips and central business districts located within their respective service areas, provided that:

  (i) the corporation must secure certification from an entity administering such a program that the loans will be made to businesses through these agreements and meet the purposes and requirements set forth pursuant to this subdivision;

  (ii) loan review committees are established by each such administering entity and that each entity designated under this paragraph have established a loan committee composed of six or more persons experienced in business management, commercial lending or in the operation of a for-profit business;

  (iii) no other entity eligible under this subdivision which satisfactorily meets all requirements of this program has applied to meet the needs of an area proposed to be served under this paragraph; and

  (iv) the corporation shall not expend any more than twenty-five percent of the amount appropriated for programs pursuant to this subdivision in any one fiscal year, or an amount appropriated specifically for the purpose of this paragraph.

  (k) An entity designated to administer such a revolving loan trust fund account shall pay to the corporation for deposit any repayments received in connection with financial assistance provided from such account pursuant to the following:

  (i) payments consisting of the repayment of the principal amount of a loan shall be deposited by the corporation in the local trust fund account from which the loan was made; and

  (ii) the interest earned from the investment, by the corporation, of monies in each local revolving loan trust fund during and after the second year of a selected entity's administration of said account shall be deposited by the corporation into the corresponding local revolving loan trust fund account and used to provide the financial assistance to businesses located in commercial strips and central business districts.

  (k-1) Notwithstanding any other provision in this subdivision, where applicable, the corporation is authorized to enter into agreements as may be necessary for the administration and reporting of funds repaid, received, expended or collected in a manner consistent with the provisions in section sixteen-t of this act. The use of such funds by the corporation shall be consistent with the terms, conditions and restrictions set forth in this section, to provide financial assistance to eligible entities as designated under this subdivision. Outstanding expenses, loans and other obligations executed prior to the effective date of this paragraph shall be subject to the terms and conditions of the original contract or contracts.

  (l) The decision to approve or reject an application for financial assistance pursuant to the provisions of this subdivision shall be made by the majority of the board of directors of the entity designated to administer the local revolving loan trust fund account and such decision shall be final.

  (m) An entity designated to administer a local revolving loan trust fund account shall not provide any financial assistance authorized by this subdivision unless the following conditions are met:

  (i) the applicant has a minimum equity interest of at least ten percent in the project;

  (ii) there is reasonable prospect of repayment;

  (iii) the project will comply with applicable environmental rules and regulations;

  (iv) the applicant has certified that it will not discriminate against any employee or any applicant for employment because of race, religion, color, national origin, sex, or age; and

  (v) a staff member or a representative of the entity designated to administer the local revolving loan trust fund account acting in an official capacity has personally visited the project site or the applicant's place of business.

  (n) Financial assistance from the local trust fund shall not be made available for:

  (i) projects that would result in the relocation of any business operation from one municipality within the state to another, provided, however, that such a project shall not be deemed ineligible if all municipalities from which such business will be relocated are notified in writing of the corporation's approval of such funding and the chief executive officers of the municipalities do not object to the corporation in writing within a period of twenty days of receipt of the notification;

  (ii) refinancing any portion of the total project cost or other existing loans or debts of an applicant, except for the purpose of transferring to the employees or to other local interests ownership of a company that would otherwise depart from or cease or substantially reduce operations in the state; and

  (iii) providing funds, directly or indirectly, for payment, distribution, or as a loan, to owners, partners or shareholders of the applicant enterprise, except as ordinary income for services rendered.

  (o) An entity designated to administer a local revolving loan trust fund account may charge application, commitment and loan guarantee fees pursuant to a schedule of fees adopted by such entity and approved by the corporation.

  (p) An entity designated to administer a local revolving loan trust fund account shall submit annual reports to the corporation describing the financial assistance provided pursuant to this subdivision, including:

  (i) the number of projects assisted, the amount and type of assistance provided and a description of the projects;

  (ii) the number of jobs created or retained; and

  (iii) such other information as the corporation may require.

  (q) The corporation shall, assisted by the commissioner of economic development and in consultation with the department of economic development, promulgate rules and regulations in accordance with the state administrative procedure act to implement the provisions of the urban and community commercial revitalization revolving loan fund established pursuant to this subdivision, and to implement such revolving loan trust fund established pursuant to this subdivision, setting forth procedures to be followed by, and the responsibilities and obligations of, entities designated to administer local trust fund accounts. Such rules and regulations shall be consistent with the program plan required by subdivision nineteen of section one hundred of the economic development law. No funds shall be disbursed from amounts appropriated to implement the provisions of this section until such rules and regulations have been reviewed and approved by the commissioner of economic development and the director of the budget.

  (9) Urban and community technical assistance. There is hereby established within the urban and community development program an urban and community technical assistance program. Assistance awarded under this subdivision shall be awarded on a competitive basis, in response to requests for proposals and through direct applications accepted at other times at the discretion of the corporation. The corporation shall, from appropriations made available therefor, provide assistance for the purpose of developing the capacity of local and regional development organizations and communities to undertake economic development initiatives by:

  (a) Conducting outreach to communities in areas where little, if any, economic development capacity exists, including identifying potential applicants and providing assistance to potential applicants in completing the application process for assistance and meeting eligibility requirements for federal, state and local programs. Assistance may be provided through grants to not-for-profit economic development organizations and through the deployment by the corporation of circuit riders.

  (b) Providing community building grants to not-for-profit economic development or community development organizations where necessary, in organizing for economic development, analyzing potential development opportunities or obstacles to development, and developing economic development strategies, including feasibility studies for the creation of business improvement districts in highly distressed areas.

  (c) Providing technical and financial packaging assistance to not-for-profit community development and economic development organizations through grants to third party providers of such services.

  (d) Contracting with third parties for the purpose of providing technical assistance to municipalities, not-for-profit organizations, local development corporations, local empire zone administrative boards, or business improvement districts to analyze potential development opportunities or obstacles.

  (e) Providing grants to not-for-profit economic development or community development organizations for approved costs to strengthen their capacity to implement economic development, job creation, or business retention strategies, including assistance to enable such organizations to provide technical and financial packaging assistance to local businesses, manage economic development projects, and provide other economic development services that are identified in their strategic plans.

  (f) Creating an urban internship program to provide training and field experience to individuals committed to working in highly distressed communities.

  (g) Organizing and coordinating seminars and conferences to facilitate the exchange of information regarding commercial revitalization strategies.

  (h) Establishing a community revitalization economic self-help program to assist public officials, community leaders, economic development and community groups to undertake an economic development planning process and to organize for economic development. Eligible applicants for assistance under this paragraph shall consist of a municipality or a consortium of municipalities from a region of the state, such regions as established by the commissioner of the department of economic development pursuant to section two hundred thirty of the economic development law.

  (i) Each training program shall require each participating municipality to:

  (A) establish an economic development planning group;

  (B) undertake a community profile and needs assessment;

  (C) undertake labor market and resource surveys; and

  (D) produce a five-year strategic plan and a one-year work program.

  (ii) Requests from municipalities or consortia of municipalities for technical assistance under this paragraph shall be made directly to the corporation or through the regional offices of the department of economic development.

  (iii) Participating municipalities shall be required to provide matching funds in an amount at least equal to any funds provided by the corporation under this paragraph.

  (iv) The corporation is authorized to enter into cooperative agreements with statewide and regional economic development organizations in New York state, acting as consultants, to conduct joint training programs to train and educate local officials and economic development practitioners pursuant to this paragraph. Any contract for services with such organizations shall not exceed the sum of fifty thousand dollars for the conduct of each training program.

  (10) Standard project program application. The corporation shall, for assistance provided in this program, develop and use standard project program applications pursuant to rules and regulations, which shall be promulgated by the corporation in accordance with the state administrative procedure act.

  (11) Standardization. The corporation shall streamline the review and approval process for projects and shall standardize all relevant attendant documentation and legal documents.

  (12) Master agreement. The corporation shall enter into a written master agreement with the director of the budget providing for repayment by such corporation to the state of New York of all amounts expended by the state from such appropriation for loans, on terms which may include interest thereon at a rate per annum to be determined by the director of the budget and a copy of such agreement shall be filed with the state comptroller, the chairman of the senate finance committee and the chairman of the assembly ways and means committee.

  (13) Repayment. Notwithstanding the provisions of section forty-a of the state finance law and any other general or special law, such written agreement shall not require repayment at any time or on any terms inconsistent with the provisions of this act or the New York state project finance agency act. Except, however, that the corporation may make grants to projects using funds appropriated for this purpose and that the repayment provision may not apply to such grants.

  (14) Report. The corporation shall: (a) Monitor the performance of each recipient of a grant or contract under the provisions of this section and require periodic and annual reports from each such recipient at such time and in such a manner as prescribed by the chairman.

  (b) Submit to the director of the budget, the speaker of the assembly and the temporary president of the senate an evaluation of the effectiveness of the urban and community development program prepared by an entity independent of the corporation. The corporation shall select the program evaluator through a request for proposal process. Such evaluation shall discuss the variety and types of programs supported by the corporation under this program; and, as appropriate, the extent to which the program has served to create and maintain jobs; the extent to which the program has helped to increase the vitality of local communities; the extent to which the program is coordinated with other related state and local assistance programs; the extent to which the program serves minorities and women; the extent to which the program serves urban and rural areas; the extent to which the program serves economically distressed and highly distressed areas; the extent to which the program has helped to increase the capacity of local governments and organizations to undertake economic development activities; and such other components as the commissioner of economic development shall deem appropriate; and shall make recommendations for improvements which would make the program more effective. Such evaluation shall be submitted by September first, nineteen hundred ninety-five and by September first every two years thereafter.

  (c) (i) The lending organization shall submit to the corporation annual reports stating: the number of program loans made; the amount of program funding used for loans; the use of loan proceeds by the borrower; the number of jobs created or retained; the status of each outstanding program loan, including fund balance; and such other information as the corporation may require.

  (ii) Beginning April 1, 2019, the corporation shall publish on its website the information contained in the annual reports required under this paragraph and paragraphs (a) and (b) of this subdivision in aggregate form omitting borrower identifiable information.