(Albany, NY) — Senator Brian Kavanagh, Chair of the Senate Housing Committee, and Assemblyman Steven Cymbrowitz, Chair of the Assembly Housing Committee, announced major investments in housing that have been included in the Senate and Assembly budget resolutions that each house released this week. The funding included major investments in public housing, restoration of cuts that were proposed in the Executive budget to foreclosure funding and the Neighborhood and Rural Preservation Programs, and significant increases in funding and staff to enforce the rent laws in New York City, Nassau, Rockland, and Westchester.
Assemblyman Cymbrowitz said: “Providing access to affordable, safe housing is essential to our responsibility to all New Yorkers, and the budget resolutions passed by the Assembly and Senate reflect this deep and shared commitment. The one-house budgets acknowledge the enormous capital needs of NYCHA and other public housing across the state, and the importance of Mitchell-Lama housing in providing affordable rental and cooperative housing to our moderate- and middle-income families. We understand just how critical it is to help families and individuals avoid foreclosure and to keep our most vulnerable New Yorkers, including seniors and people with disabilities, in their homes and apartments so they can remain vital members of our communities. I look forward to working with Speaker Heastie, Senate Leader Stewart-Cousins, Senate Housing Chair Kavanagh and my colleagues in the coming weeks to keep these critical components in the final budget.”
Senator Kavanagh said: “The Senate and Assembly budget resolutions mark a critical point for housing policy in New York State. Thanks to Senate Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins, Speaker Carl Heastie, Assembly Housing Chair Steven Cymbrowitz, and our colleagues, we are making big commitments to help ensure that the State does its part to ensure that all New Yorkers have access to decent affordable housing — whether they be public housing residents in New York City or elsewhere in the state, homeowners facing foreclosure because of irresponsible or predatory lending practices, tenants in rent-regulated housing in gentrifying communities, or the many people still recovering from the ravages of destructive storms. I look forward to working with my colleagues in the legislature, and the Governor, to ensure that these essential funds are included in the final budget we will enact later this month.”
Both houses made substantial new commitments for public housing capital repairs and restoration. The Assembly committed $300 million in fiscal year 2019-2020 for the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA), while the Senate resolution includes $250 million. Both houses included made an additional $100 million available to other housing authorities across the State and both the Assembly and the Senate have also called on the Executive to immediately release $450 million in capital funding previously allocated to NYCHA.
Restoring Foreclosure Prevention and Neighborhood and Rural Preservation Funding
The Senate and Assembly restored major cuts the Executive had proposed to existing community-based programs. Both houses restored $20 million in foreclosure prevention services provided by 89 non-profit housing counseling and legal services organizations in every county in the State through the Communities First program, which had been entirely eliminated in the Executive Budget. The Senate and Assembly also restored the Executive’s $6.2 million cut to the Neighborhood Preservation and Rural Preservation Programs, for a total allocation of more than $18 million to 202 organizations that work to revitalize low- and moderate-income communities by preserving and increasing access to affordable housing.
Rent Law Enforcement
The Senate and Assembly also supported an increase of $8.9 million for administration and enforcement of the rent laws in New York City, Nassau, Westchester, and Rockland, including an addition of 94 staff positions (a 27% increase) and $5.5 million for the Tenant Protection Unit, but rejected the Executive’s proposal to delay the new funding and hiring until the new rent laws are renewed later in the legislative session. With the additional funding, the total budget for rent law administration and enforcement will be $65 million.
The Senate and Assembly joined the Executive in providing $72 million for Storm Recovery efforts and $5 million for the Manufactured Home Advantage Program.
The Assembly allocated $100 million in capital support for State- and city-supervised Mitchell-Lama housing. Mitchell-Lama housing provides affordable rental and cooperative housing to moderate- and middle-income families. The Senate committed $1 million for additional housing programs.