Governor Paterson Announces $137 Million to Build and Preserve More Than 6,000 Units of Affordable Housing
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Governor Paterson Announces $137 Million to Build and Preserve More Than 6,000 Units of Affordable Housing

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Governor David A. Paterson today announced $137 million in funding awarded by the New York State Division of Housing and Community Renewal (DHCR) that will help build and preserve 6,415 units of affordable housing — nearly twice the number of units created and preserved by DHCR last year.

“These awards will help developers leverage an additional $340 million in funding from federal, local and private sources, maximizing the positive impact of our investment,” said Governor Paterson. “The importance of affordable housing cannot be overstated. It encourages businesses to invest in our state and create jobs. It helps to revitalize communities and downtown neighborhoods and provides a stable and safe environment for working families, senior citizens and people living with disabilities.”

DHCR Commissioner Deborah VanAmerongen said: “The dramatic increase in the number of affordable units created and preserved is due to the commitment of Governor Paterson and the State Legislature, and the unprecedented increase in funding they entrusted to DHCR in the 2008-09 state budget.”

The new budget increased funding for DHCR programs by about $200 million over traditional levels. VanAmerongen said she plans to conduct a second round of funding awards later this year.

The new budget increased funding for DHCR programs by about $200 million over traditional levels. VanAmerongen said she plans to conduct a second round of funding awards later this year.

The awards approved today include grants, loans and tax credits, and fall into two general categories: Capital projects, which primarily involve new construction and major rehabilitation, and Local Program Administrator (LPA) awards, which are used to fund important DHCR programs that help build, modify and rehabilitate housing for low income families, senior citizens and people with disabilities. This year.s awards included:

  • Capital Projects — $87 Million which will leverage $340 Million in additional equity and produce 1,951 units of affordable housing. All the units created will meet high energy efficiency standards and provide an unprecedented level of accessibility for people with disabilities.
  • The HOME Program — $29.6 million to build or rehabilitate 1,481units. The HOME program partners with local governments, private developers and community-based non-profit housing organizations to acquire, rehabilitate or construct housing, or to provide assistance to low-income home-buyers and renters.
  • ACCESS to Home — $14 million to make accessibility modifications to 917 units. ACCESS to Home provides financial assistance to property owners to make dwelling units accessible for low- and moderate income frail elderly and persons with disabilities. These modifications allow individuals to safely and comfortably continue to live in their homes and avoid institutional care.
  • RESTORE — $6.3 million to make emergency repairs to 2,066 units. RESTORE (Residential Emergency Services to Offer Repairs to the Elderly) helps low-income elderly homeowners pay for emergency repairs to eliminate hazardous conditions in their homes.

Senate Majority Leader Dean G. Skelos said: “This investment will renovate and upgrade older housing stocks to revitalize upstate communities and will preserve more affordable housing units. It.s also an important economic investment that will create new jobs. The Senate worked with Governor Paterson to increase funding for affordable housing projects in the budget because it has such a direct, positive impact on the lives of thousands of families across the state.”

Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver said: “To fund the construction or rehabilitation of more than 6,000 affordable housing units during such a turbulent time in the mortgage market and in the state economy shows the commitment of the Legislature and Executive to providing greater housing opportunities for New York.s working families. Initiatives such as the HOME and RESTORE programs will help families, elderly residents and other New Yorkers obtain and preserve much-needed housing throughout the state. We thank Governor Paterson for his dedication to helping those in need obtain housing while revitalizing communities throughout New York.”

Senator John J. Bonacic, Chair of the Senate Housing Committee, said: “The need for affordable housing in New York is insatiable. I am pleased to work with Governor Paterson who has made this issue a priority. Investing in affordable housing is in the best interest of all New Yorkers. We need diverse and stable communities and renovating existing housing stock and building new housing will help to meet that need.”

Assemblyman Vito J. Lopez, Chair of the Assembly Housing Committee said: “I am proud that thousands of hardworking New York families will have greater access to affordable housing. Key to providing greater housing opportunities is not only the construction of new units but also the restoration of existing structures that, with time, money and work, will help to reinvigorate the surrounding community. We applaud Governor Paterson and Commissioner VanAmerongen for their commitment to affordable, particularly in this time of great economic uncertainty.”

Senator Liz Krueger, Ranking Member on the Senate Housing Committee, said: “I am pleased that the Paterson administration is taking such a proactive approach to New York State’s affordable housing crisis. The additional funding will help address the desperate need for quality affordable housing in New York communities.”

Assemblyman Michael Fitzpatrick, Ranking Member on the Assembly Housing Committee, said: “The Governor, once again, demonstrates his commitment to affordable housing in New York State. The importance of a stable, affordable housing market, though, at times, difficult to achieve, is one of Governor Paterson’s highest priorities.”

NEW OPPORTUNITIES, NEW OBSTACLES

Commissioner VanAmerongen said because of the additional resources in the 2008-09 state budget, DHCR was able to provide 187 LPA awards this year, more than double the 92 awards from last year. LPA awards this year totaled $50 million, as compared to $30 million last year, and will assist or create 4,464 units, far greater than last year.s unit count of 1,734.

On the capital side, DHCR was challenged by the turmoil of the credit and mortgage markets and the resulting devaluation of state and federal tax credits, which developers sell to generate equity. However, thanks to increased funding in the new budget, DHCR was able to offset the loss in value of these tax credits. In all, capital awards will help build or preserve 40 affordable housing developments in 24 counties in every region of the state.

A full list of all DHCR awards approved today is available on the agency’s website: www.nysdhcr.gov.

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The Division of Housing and Community Renewal (DHCR) is responsible for the supervision, maintenance and development of affordable low- and moderate-income housing in New York State

Mission:
To make New York State a better place to live by supporting community efforts to preserve and expand affordable housing, home ownership and economic opportunities, and by providing equal access to safe, decent and affordable housing.

Contact:

Free: 1-866-ASK-DHCR,
Phone: 212-480-6700

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