Assemblyman Ramos: Budget provides affordable housing funding for Long Island

April 9, 2008
Assemblyman Phil Ramos (D- Central Islip) announced today that the final state budget includes $6 million for the Homeownership and Economic Stabilization for Long Island Program (HELP), to provide workforce housing on Long Island.

“Making housing more affordable is a real concern in the communities which I represent,” said Ramos. “Funding for much needed affordable workforce housing programs on Long Island will improve the quality of life and help lay the groundwork to keep our economy strong.”

The state budget also includes funding to help victims of the subprime mortgage crisis. The budget supplies $25 million for the Assembly-created Subprime Foreclosure Prevention Services Program. The program offers grants to non-profit organizations and legal service providers to provide counseling, mediation and legal representation to victims of sub-prime lending facing default or foreclosure.

Ramos said that the funding to provide relief from the sub prime mortgage crisis was critical because of a high number of sub prime loans in local communities. According to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, Brentwood has the second highest number of sub prime loans in the state, with nearly 1,800 sub prime loans and a 12.4 percent foreclosure rate. In Bay Shore there are nearly 1,500 sub prime loans and a foreclosure rate of 13.4 percent.

“Unfortunately some people have been taken advantage by predatory lending practices and our economy is suffering because of that,” Ramos said. “With thousands of families, right here in our communities, on the brink of default or foreclosure we need quick action.”

Other affordable housing initiatives in the budget include $54 million for the State Housing Finance Agency (HFA) to provide continued access to affordable housing, $31 million for the Low Income Housing Trust Fund, and $20 million for the Affordable Housing Corporation.

“This is a budget that will work towards meeting the affordable housing needs of working families on Long Island. This funding will help keep family ties strong by making sure our young people can afford to stay here to live and work,” Ramos concluded.