March 31, 2011

Assembly Leads the Way Preserving Housing, Economic Development And Community Renewal Programs

SFY 2011-2012 Budget Agreement Restores $6 Million to
Neighborhood Preservation Program and Rural Preservation Program

Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver and Housing Committee Chair Vito Lopez today announced agreement on legislation to restore $6 million for the Neighborhood Preservation Program and the Rural Preservation Program.

The agreement provides $8.4 million for the Neighborhood Preservation Program and $3.5 million for the Rural Preservation Program. These restorations bring both programs to their 2010-11 funding levels, preserving the vital work that they do in the areas of affordable housing, economic development and community renewal.

"The services offered by preservation programs on affordable housing and neighborhood revitalization are often the helping hand many New Yorkers need to get through this difficult economic time," said Speaker Silver (D-Manhattan). "These programs serve as a catalyst, leveraging state funds in order to inject more private capital into new construction and rehabilitation."

"Given the state of our struggling economy and the proven track record of the Neighborhood Preservation Program and the Rural Preservation Program, which leverage forty dollars for every state dollar they receive, it was essential that these programs be restored in the budget. Not only do these initiatives help ensure the availability of affordable housing, but they also compliment the efforts of localities across the state as they rebuild and revitalize their economies. These groups are on the frontlines of the mortgage foreclosure crisis providing assistance to homeowners who would otherwise have no other place to turn," said Lopez.

Administered by the New York State Homes and Community Renewal (HCR), together the programs promote and preserve housing for low- and moderate- income individuals by providing planning and administrative funds to community-based, not-for-profit corporations known as Neighborhood and Rural Preservation Companies (NPCs and RPCs).

The state’s 213 NPCs and RPCs have skillfully accessed a number of state grant programs and leveraged additional resources to help fill the needs in their communities. In SFY 2009-10, 62 percent of HCR's Local Program Awards were granted to NPCs and RPCs for work in their service areas, including:

According to HCR, every dollar invested in an NPC leverages an additional $40. The number for Rural Preservation Companies is even larger, with the groups being able to leverage $43 for every one dollar the state invested. Together, both programs serve the vast majority of the state. "NPCs and RPCs have played an instrumental role in the creation of tens of thousands of units of affordable housing and the job creation and economic activity that goes along with construction. Preserving these programs is crucial to serving New York’s citizens," said Silver.