New State Budget Makes Groundbreaking Investment in Affordable Housing

The recently enacted state budget delivered $2.5 billion for affordable housing, putting us well on our way to fund Governor Cuomo's $20 billion comprehensive, five-year plan to create or preserve 100,000 new affordable and 6,000 supportive housing units across the State. This financial commitment will enable us to do more than ever before for those facing housing insecurity or homelessness than ever before.

Additionally, the budget included the Affordable New York Housing Program, which replaced the New York City tax abatement program formerly known as 421-a.

Affordable New York gives developers a city property tax break in return for building lower-price rental units and providing fair wages to construction workers. The new program will generate about 2,500 units of affordable housing per year.

Developers of new residential projects with 300 units or more in certain areas of Manhattan, Brooklyn and Queens will be eligible for a full property tax abatement for 35 years if the project creates a specific number of affordable rental units and meets minimum construction wage requirements. The units must remain affordable for 40 years.

The budget also enables SONYMA to launch a new $5 million Graduate to Homeownership program, which will offer recent college graduates incentives to purchase their first home in certain Upstate urban centers. 

Commissioner Visnauskas delivered a regional budget briefing at the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce earlier this month. 

New York State's Commitment to Green Building
Governor Cuomo’s Clean Energy Standard goal is to reduce carbon emissions in New York State by 40% by 2030. 

To help meet this objective, HCR has implemented new green building guidelines for 2017. This will bring the Housing Finance Agency’s (HFA) requirements into alignment with our 9% low income tax credit housing program.

All HFA projects will need to meet criteria for energy efficiency and sustainability. Additionally, HFA’s new construction projects will also need to be certified as Green Bonds by the Climate Bond Initiative, an international not-for-profit organization supporting financing for projects around the world that help reduce the impact of climate change. 

HFA also now requires that all properties both monitor their energy consumption with benchmarking software services that provide automated data directly from utility companies and share this information with HCR.

Around the State with Commissioner Visnauskas
Commissioner Visnauskas delivered the keynote at a NYSAFAH luncheon in Buffalo that also featured Senator Catharine Young, Senator Tim Kennedy, Assemblymember Crystal Peoples Stokes, Assemblymember Sean Ryan, and Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown. 
Commissioner Visnauskas discussed the future of affordable housing at Capalino + Company's Impact Housing panel in NYC. 
New Destiny Housing honored Commissioner Visnauskas for her commitment to building and preserving affordable housing for all New Yorkers at its annual gala in NYC.

For more than two decades, New Destiny Housing has worked to end domestic violence and help individuals and families access the housing and support they need to rebuild their lives. 
HCR Hosts New York Main Street Boot Camp

HCR hosted a Main Street Boot Camp Workshop in Utica on April 19th. This workshop was an opportunity for community leaders and community development organizations to learn about basic Main Street revitalization concepts and tools.

Nearly 100 attendees from around New York State participated in workshop sessions that covered topics including project funding sources, façade design, commercial district needs assessment and regional coordination.

The sessions were conducted by experienced Main Street practitioners, and featured best practices for commercial district revitalization activities from around New York State. 

The session descriptions and presentations are available online.

HCR In Action

The newly constructed, seven-story, $20.7 million development is located at 450 Gouverneur Place, in the Morrisania community in the Bronx.

The development includes 68 apartments and will integrate supportive services for residents with mental health disabilities. 

The groundbreaking ceremony officially recognizes the groundwork laid by the Newburgh Neighborhood CORe Revitalization community redevelopment discussions to renovate 15 buildings on scattered sites in downtown Newburgh.

In the next 18 months, RUPCO plans to bring 45 affordable apartments online on five city blocks just off Broadway. 

Alexander Commons will offer 60 affordable and supportive apartments with on-site behavioral health services provided by East House.

The investment enhances  Finger Lakes Forward, the region’s successful economic development initiative that is creating new opportunities for individuals and families, and revitalizing communities throughout the Finger Lakes.

West Street Apartments will provide 42 affordable apartments for low-income working families as well as supportive services for formerly homeless families in Utica’s Cornhill neighborhood. The new development will replace a formerly dilapidated vacant building. 

SOMOS El Futuro, New York‘s premier statewide organization for policy and advocacy in the Hispanic/Latino community, held its annual conference in March. HCR staff was in attendance to meet with legislative leaders and assist constituents.

The funding, awarded through the New York State Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance’s Homeless Housing and Assistance Program, will support projects in the Bronx, New York, Chautauqua, Onondaga, Orange, Oswego and Tompkins counties.
In the Spotlight: New York State Community Development Block Grants

Building Better Neighborhoods and Stronger Communities
The New York State Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program is a federally funded program administered by HCR that helps eligible cities, towns, and villages with populations under 50,000 and counties with an area population under 200,000 to develop viable communities, provide decent, affordable housing, and expand economic opportunities. In 2016 alone, the New York State CDBG program:  

  • Awarded $15 million in housing awards to benefit 538 low-and moderate income households including projects to assist with homeownership, manufactured home replacement, wells and septic replacement, and assistance with housing rehabilitation needs for eligible homeowners.
  • Awarded $11 million in economic development, small business and microenterprise awards to create 898 new jobs.
  • Leveraged an additional $307 million in other funds beyond the amounts awarded to projects.

Recently proposed federal budget cuts would eliminate the CDBG program entirely. This would have a devastating impact on families and communities across the State. The CDBG program is critical to creating and expanding job opportunities, providing safe affordable housing, preventing and eliminating blight, addressing local public infrastructure and public facilities issues, and addressing issues that threaten the health or welfare of communities. 

Recent CDBG awards include: 

Governor Cuomo Announces $750,000 Grant to Convert Abandoned Hotel to Assisted Living Apartments in Amsterdam

HCR's approval of a $750,000 CDBG award to advance this project in Montgomery County is expected to result in more than 70 full-time permanent jobs for the region. 

Delft Blue, a leading supplier of portion controlled cuts of veal and pork in the Northeast, will expand its production facilities and create 22 new manufacturing jobs in Oneida County. The project will be completed with support from a CDBG Economic Development award of $330,000.

For more information on the New York State CDBG program and a complete list of eligible communities, visit our website or email 
HCR’s #SONYMA provides financial assistance for first-time homebuyers! Call 1-800-382-HOME (4663) or visit
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