Advocates urge legislative leaders to agree on $2 billion for affordable housing

Advocates urge legislative leaders to agree on $2 billion for affordable housing

Advocates urge legislative leaders to agree on $2 billion for affordable housing
September 27, 2016

Affordable housing advocates and stakeholders on Tuesday sent letters to Gov. Andrew Cuomo and both state legislative leaders urging them to meet and sign a finalized memorandum of understanding to release $2 billion in funding for affordable housing. 

The 2016-17 state budget agreement included $2 billion for affordable housing that would require a MOU agreement between Cuomo, Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie and state Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan on how to allocate the funding.

However, the 2016 legislative session ended without an agreement on the MOU.

After months of criticism from advocates because of perceived inaction, Cuomo in September released what he called an “executed agreement” on a MOU that allocates up to $1.4 billion for creation of new affordable housing units, up to $565 million towards preserving existing affordable housing units, up to $54 million to provide opportunities for new homeownership and up to $10 million toward neighborhood revitalization.

While the Cuomo administration in a press release said there was an agreement on how to spend the funding, Assembly Democratic spokesman Mike Whyland told State of Politics that the announcement was not an agreement, but a “jumping off point” for negotiations.

Advocates are now urging leaders to meet to finalize an agreement and sign the MOU. Among the nine organizations who signed on are AARP,  New York Housing Conference and NYSAFAH. 

“Nearly six months have passed since the state budget was enacted with this funding allocated,” the advocates write in the letters to Flanagan and Heastie. “As we continue to wait for the MOU to be finalized and signed by all three parties, the need for affordable, senior, and supportive housing is only growing.”

You can read the full letters below.  

Housing MOU Letter to Cuomo by City & State NY on Scribd

Housing MOU Letter to Flanagan by City & State NY on Scribd

Housing MOU Letter to Heastie by City & State NY on Scribd

Ashley Hupfl
20181219