March 13, 2015

Assembly's Families First Budget Proposal Provides Crucial Funding to Housing Programs

Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie, Housing Committee Chair Keith L.T. Wright and Social Services Committee Chair Andrew Hevesi today announced the Assembly's Families First budget proposal commits more than $645 million for housing rehabilitation and community development programs, as well as services to prevent homelessness to ensure that all New Yorkers have a place to call home. These programs will provide access to safe, quality and affordable housing programs and resources for New York families. This critical investment to address the housing crisis in our communities is an increase of $200 million over the Executive proposal.

"Our economy and communities continue to be affected by the housing crisis. Affordable housing is increasingly difficult to find, and our existing housing stock is aging faster than we can maintain or build new ones. Many families are finding they owe more on their homes than they are worth. Through this budget, the Assembly funds crucial housing programs that help New York families and seniors meet a basic need," said Speaker Heastie.

Assemblymember Wright said "The Assembly's proposed budget includes vital funding for housing programs that New York City residents, and residents all across the state, so desperately need. Specifically, the Assembly's budget bill provides $200 million over the Executive's proposal and includes $125 million for NYCHA capital repairs. Stable housing provides the opportunity for growth and development and puts New Yorkers on the path to economic independence, ensuring the type of quality of life that our families and neighbors deserve."

The Assembly recognizes that the affordable housing crisis has been a significant obstacle to promoting stability for New York families. The Families First proposal would commit $254.5 million for affordable housing programs, including $100 million for assistance to homeowners at risk of foreclosure or who are underwater on their mortgage.

Additional funding for affordable housing programs includes:

The Families First proposal also includes $310 million for preservation and revitalization programs, of which $125 million would be provided to the New York City Housing Authority and $110 million would be provided for Mitchell-Lama developments. In addition, the Assembly proposes $59.2 million in funding for community development programs.

In recent years, homelessness has risen dramatically, further destabilizing families who struggle with the harsh realities of economic inequality. Thousands of families who were unable to remain in their homes have turned to shelters to find stability and support. The Families First budget provides $32 million for a homelessness prevention pilot program to allow for enhanced rental assistance to individuals and families who are at risk of losing their homes. An additional $5 million would be allocated for homeless and supportive housing services, for a total investment of $36.5 million.

Assemblymember Hevesi said "Families and individuals face many daily challenges. It is our responsibility to create and fund programs to mitigate these challenges and help New Yorkers achieve independence. I am pleased that the Assembly's proposed budget addresses two significant problems our state currently faces: homelessness and the shortage of affordable housing."