July 2017
Governor Cuomo Announces First Phase of New $10 Million Buffalo Neighborhood Stabilization Initiative 
The Buffalo Neighborhood Stabilization Initiative will increase homeownership opportunities, make needed home repairs to prevent foreclosure, and fund a targeted zombie property prevention strategy for Buffalo's East Side and the Town of Cheektowaga.

The first phase of funding for the three-pronged initiative invests more than $4 million to begin work on nearly 250 homes this year. Phase 1 includes:
-$1.4 million to repair and make available for purchase to new homeowners 28 city-owned vacant and abandoned properties
- $2 million to directly assist families at elevated risk of losing their homes due to high costs of maintenance and energy usage
- $1 million to address and prevent zombie properties by purchasing the mortgages of 17 properties facing foreclosure 

HCR Senior Leadership News
Commissioner RuthAnne Visnauskas is pleased to announce four senior appointments to the HCR team:

Nicole Ferreira, Senior Vice President of Multifamily Finance. In her new role, Nicole is responsible for the strategic leadership of all the multifamily finance teams. Since 2015, Nicole served as Executive Vice President for Development for the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA), which marked her second term at NYCHA. She originally joined NYCHA in 2011 and rose to the Senior Advisor to the Executive Vice President of the Capital Projects Division. Prior to rejoining NYCHA, she was Director of Acquisitions at Workforce Housing Group. Nicole also lends her expertise to teaching the next generation of housing program and policy professionals as an adjunct professor at New York University's Schack Institute of Real Estate. 

Gabriella Green, Chief of Staff. In addition to her Chief of Staff responsibilities, Gabriella oversees Intergovernmental Affairs and the Office of Public Information. Prior to taking on this role in April, Gabriella served as the Downstate Development Director in HCR's Office of Finance and Development. Gabriella joined HCR from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) where she served as Senior Regional Planner, managing the agency's Superstorm Sandy appropriation grants for New York State. Prior to joining HUD, Gabriella held several key positions at the NYC Department of Housing Preservation and Development, including Assistant Commissioner for the Division of Planning, Marketing, and Sustainability. 

Dina Levy, Senior Vice President of Single Family and Community Development. Dina is responsible for the strategic leadership of all single-family work through SONYMA led by Sherri Eckles, our community development work in the Office of Community Renewal led by Chris Leo, and the work of the Faith Based Initiatives team led by Karim Camara. Most recently, Dina served as Director of Community Impact and Innovation for Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman. In that role, she was senior advisor to the Attorney General on negotiations of multi-billion-dollar bank settlements and oversaw relationships with state and national stakeholders. Previously, she was Special Assistant to the Attorney General. 

Diana Nebiolo (formerly Kiyonaga), was promoted to President of the Office of Professional Services. Diana will continue to oversee the Budget and Finance, Human Resources, Facilities, Procurement, and IT for HCR. Diana joined us from the State's Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Services where she served as Director Audit & Compliance. Previously, Diana spent 16 years at the New York State Division of Budget holding several key positions including Senior Budget Examiner for the Health and Mental Hygiene Unit, Associate Budget Examiner/Team Leader in the Public Protection Unit and ultimately Principal Budget Examiner for the Public Protection Unit.
HCR's 2017 Unified Funding Round Makes More than $230 Million Available for Multifamily Housing

HCR has announced the start of the 2017 Unified Funding Application Round, making available (subject to appropriation), $32 million in State and Federal 9% Low Income Housing Tax Credits, nearly $200 million in low interest loan financing, and up to 100 Section 8 Project Based Vouchers. The notices also establish the Early Award State housing goals, application deadlines, and the dates and locations of this year's application workshops.

This includes funding for site-specific multifamily project applications under the following capital programs:
-$28 million, Federal Low Income Housing Tax Credit program 
-$4 million, NYS Low Income Housing Tax Credit program 
-$65.2 million, Housing Trust Fund program 
-$7 million, NYS Home program 
-$44.9 million, Community Investment Fund program 
-$35 million Supportive Housing Opportunity program 
-$4 million, Homes for Working Families program 
-$10 million, Public Housing Preservation program 
-$15 million, Multifamily Preservation program
-$16 million, Middle Income Housing program

HCR expects to publish the 2017 Unified Funding Request for Proposals, which will cite state housing goals and priorities and provide specifics on each capital funding program, by August 15, 2017. 
Workshops will be held:
-September 7 in Rochester
-September 8 in Albany
-September 11 in NYC 

Applications deadlines:
-October 5 (projects meeting Early Award Application Round funding goals)
-November 7 (Early Award Empire State Supportive Housing Initiative projects)
-December 5 (all other Unified Funding Applications)

Application materials are on our website. 
Office of Community Renewal Makes Nearly $20 Million Available to Address Diverse Housing and Community Development Needs
The New York State Housing Trust Fund Corporation has announced the availability of $19.9 million in State and Federal Funds for the following programs managed by HCR's Office of Community Renewal:
  • $8 million for NYS Community Development Block Grant funding for Housing Activities
    Deadline is September 22
  • $6 million for Access to Home for Veterans program 
    Deadline is September 13
  • $1 million Access to Home program 
    Deadline is September 13
  • $1 million Access to Home for Medicaid Recipients program
    Deadline is September 13
  • $3.9 million RESTORE program
    Deadline is September 13

Application requirements for each of these programs can be found on our website
In the Spotlight: Farmworker Housing Program
The Farmworker Housing Program is a highly successful revolving loan fund that provides loans of up to $100,000 through a loan administrator to agricultural producers for the purchase, construction or improvement of farmworker housing.

The program makes approximately 20-25 new loans each year and no loan has defaulted since the program's inception. Loan repayments by borrowers are reinvested back into the program to support new loans.

From an initial investment of $9 million, the Farmworker Housing Program has made 337 loans totaling over $21 million to help create and improve quality housing for farmworkers across New York State. 

HCR Employee Alice D. Harris Celebrates 50 Years of Public Service 

Earlier this month, HCR honored longtime employee Alice D. Harris for her 50 years of public service to New York State and New York City.

Alice began her career in government in 1967 with the City of New York's Rent and Rehabilitation Administration and later the Department of Housing Preservation and Development. 

In 1986, she joined Homes and Community Renewal's Office of Rent Administration (ORA). She has been a trusted aide to many supervisors and a mentor to younger employees. 

Congressman Gregory W. Meeks issued an official proclamation and will read her bio into the Congressional record. She also received a congratulatory letter and proclamation from Governor Cuomo, and proclamations from City Councilman I. Daneek Miller and Lee Saunders, President of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, AFL-CIO. 

HCR's Deputy Commissioner Woody Pascal said "Alice is a model civil servant and an individual who understands that the best possible service to the citizens of our city and state is the most important part of any public sector position."
Section 3 Match Up Sessions Connect Eligible Workers and Businesses with Potential Opportunities on HCR-Funded Housing Projects
HCR is hosting free Section 3 Match Up sessions around the state to connect local developers and contractors, municipalities and nonprofit organizations receiving funding from HCR with residents and eligible businesses for potential employment and contracting opportunities. 

Under Section 3 of the United States Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Act of 1968, the Section 3 program requires that recipients of certain HUD financial assistance, to the greatest extent possible, provide job training, employment and contract opportunities for low -or very low- income residents in connection with projects and activities in their neighborhoods.

HCR will host a Section 3 Match Up session in Utica on August 2nd from 10:00 AM-12:00 PM at Union Station (321 Main Street, 3rd floor).

Additional upcoming sessions:
-August 22: Elmira
-September 20: Geneva Housing Authority, Geneva 

Email feho@nyshcr.org for more information or to RSVP. 
HCR In Action
HCR, Liberty Affordable Housing and Partners Mark Completion of Major Rehab of 144 Apartments for Seniors in Binghamton

The newly renovated 15-story building, formerly known as ABC Towers, at 100 Chenango Street, was built in 1974.

The development complements Southern Tier Soaring, the Governor’s successful revitalization initiative to grow the economy and create new opportunities in the Southern Tier.

The building being constructed, part of a larger mixed-use development known as La Central, will create 160 units of housing, including 97 supportive units for formerly homeless New Yorkers with special needs.

Breaking Ground will develop the supportive housing component of La Central, while Comunilife will provide support services.

Funding was awarded through the Affordable Home Ownership Development Program, which has already awarded nearly $192 million to create or improve more than 9,700 homes across the state. 

Wyoming County was awarded $200,000 in CDBG Microenterprise funds to assist the Wyoming County Rural Arts Initiative. Ten businesses were chosen to receive funding for the purchase of equipment and supplies. 

The funds will help artists in the Villages of Arcade and Perry build their businesses and establish Wyoming County as an arts enclave. This Finger Lakes REDC project complements the region's Finger Lakes Forward economic development initiative. 

Heritage Gardens includes 83 apartments with 17 for persons with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities who will receive on-site support services from Heritage Christian Services. This complements Finger Lakes Forward, Governor Cuomo’s successful revitalization initiative to grow the economy and create new opportunities.

Heritage Gardens is being constructed immediately across the street from Heritage Christian's Pieters Family Life Center, a community resource that offers a wide variety of programming for individuals with developmental disabilities and the community as a whole.  

Harborbrook Apartments  will provide 60 affordable apartments for individuals aged 55 and older with 20 for residents at risk of homelessness. This development complements Central New York Rising, the Governor’s successful Upstate Revitalization Initiative aimed at growing the economy and creating new opportunities in Central New York.

Harborbrook Apartments is designed to promote an aging in place model providing accessible, affordable housing to help individuals remain independent at home, rather than residing in nursing homes or hospitals. The development will be located adjacent to The Centers at St. Camillus Campus. 

Over 700 people attended the homebuyer expo hosted by NHS of Queens. SONYMA's Dilfia Munoz presented on panels in both English and Spanish.

NHS revitalizes underserved neighborhoods by creating and preserving affordable housing and providing opportunities for homeownership education and financial assistance. NHS is part of the larger NeighborworksAmerica network and a partner with SONYMA in HomeSmartNY.
HCR’s #SONYMA provides competitive mortgages for first-time homebuyers! Call 1-800-382-HOME (4663) or visit sonyma.org
Andrew M. Cuomo , Governor I RuthAnne Visnauskas , Commissioner and CEO 
NYS Homes and Community Renewal | www.nyshcr.org