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New York unveils $20 billion plan to fight homelessness, boost affordable housing

First phase includes $2.5 billion for new construction, development

New York is taking homelessness and the state’s lack of affordable housing head-on with an ambitious new program announced Thursday by the state’s governor, Andrew Cuomo.

According to Cuomo’s office, the state is launching a $20 billion, five-year plan to combat homelessness and advance the construction of affordable housing throughout the state.

Over the life of the program, the plan calls for $10 billion to be used to create and preserve more than 110,000 affordable housing units across the state, including approximately 12,000 units created through the newly enacted “Affordable New York” program, Cuomo’s office stated.

The plan includes a $10 billion commitment to create 6,000 new supportive housing beds, including $7.5 billion to “end the homelessness crisis and support housing programs, rental subsidies and other shelter costs in New York City and across the state.”

According to Cuomo’s office, the program is the largest investment in the creation and preservation of affordable housing and efforts to end homelessness in the history of New York.

The initial phase of the program includes $2.5 billion in the state’s fiscal 2018 budget, which will be used to “diversity of housing needs in New York, strengthen protections for tenants, and create new opportunities for low-to-moderate income households,” Cuomo’s office stated.

In the initial phase, the $2.5 billion will be used in several programs, including:

  • New Construction: $472 million for new construction or adaptive reuse of rental housing affordable to households that earn up to 60% of area median income
  • New York City Housing Authority: $200 million for projects and improvements related at housing developments owned or operated by NYCHA
  • Home Ownership: $41.5 million for promoting home ownership among families of low and moderate income and stimulating the development, stabilization, and preservation of New York communities
  • Middle Income Housing: $150 million for new construction, adaptive reuse, or reconstruction of rental housing affordable to households that earn between 60% and 130% of area middle income
  • Affordable Housing Preservation: $146 million for substantial or moderate rehabilitation of existing affordable multi-family rental housing currently under a regulatory agreement
  • Public Housing: $125 million for substantial or moderate rehabilitation and/or the demolition and replacement through new construction of public housing authority developments outside of New York City
  • Small Building Construction: $62.5 million for rehabilitation and/or the demolition and replacement through new construction of buildings of 5 to 40 units
  • NYC 100% Affordable: $100 million for the construction and preservation of 100% affordable units in New York City
  • Mobile and Manufactured Homes: $13 million for mobile and manufactured home programs
  • Main Street Programs: $10 million for stimulating reinvestment in properties located within mixed-use commercial districts located in urban, small town, and rural areas of the state

“This legislation is a major step forward for New York as we strengthen our efforts to combat homelessness and expand access to quality, affordable housing for our most vulnerable men, women and children," Cuomo said in a statement. “By making significant investments in rehabilitating, preserving and constructing safe and affordable housing, we will open doors for low-income residents and support hard-working New Yorkers in every region of the state.”

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