Assembly Budget Makes Critical Investments in Affordable Housing

SFY 2019-20 Budget Provides $400 Million for Public Housing Heating, Weatherization and Maintenance Projects, Including $300 Million for NYCHA

Speaker Carl Heastie and Housing Committee Chair Steven Cymbrowitz today announced that the Assembly’s State Fiscal Year (SFY) 2019-20 Budget proposal makes critical investments in affordable housing across the state, including programs serving urban and rural communities, assistance for homeowners facing foreclosure, and continued capital funding for public housing authorities.

“The Assembly Majority is dedicated to the idea that every New Yorker should be able to find and keep quality, affordable housing,” Speaker Heastie said. “Our budget will improve quality of life for thousands of New Yorkers by providing more opportunities for hardworking families to stay in their homes, while also helping NYCHA and other housing authorities perform the maintenance and repairs they desperately need.”

“Smart investments in the creation and preservation of affordable housing yield enormous returns not only in the quality of our buildings, but in the health of our families, the strength of our workforce and the growth of our economy,” Assemblymember Cymbrowitz said. “This budget targets housing programs across the state that will help us build better communities from the ground up.”

The Assembly budget includes $100 million in capital support for state- and city-supervised Mitchell-Lama housing, which provides affordable rental and cooperative housing to moderate- and middle-income families. In addition, the proposal would restore vital foreclosure prevention assistance programs by providing $20 million.

The Assembly plan also increases funding for:

  • Neighborhood Preservation Programs and Rural Preservation Programs to a total of $18.2 million, which is a restoration to last year’s level of funding and a $6.2 million increase over the executive proposal; and
  • Access to Home to a total of $4 million, which is a $3 million increase over the executive proposal.

The Assembly spending plan provides $400 million for public housing capital repairs and restoration, including lead abatement. Of this amount, $300 million is directed to the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) and $100 million will be made available to public housing authorities statewide. These funds will be used for heating needs, weatherization, elevators and other maintenance projects. This funding is part of a $1.6 billion, five-year commitment to public housing. Of that, $1.2 billion is dedicated to NYCHA, to be matched by New York City.

Public housing authorities increase opportunities for low- and moderate-income New Yorkers by providing safe, affordable housing and facilitating access to social and community services. Although NYCHA has been disproportionately affected due to its enormous size, decades of disinvestment at all levels of government have left all housing authorities struggling to maintain critical services.

The Assembly’s budget proposal would provide $5 million for the Manufactured Home Advantage Program to continue funding low-interest loans and grants for the acquisition and rehabilitation of manufactured homes and manufactured home parks around the state. Loans made under this program can be used to make capital improvements, purchase new properties or refinance debt to help keep parks affordable for residents.

The Assembly’s proposed investment in affordable housing is especially prescient in light of the Trump Administration’s 2019-20 budget proposal. Released earlier this week, their plan would zero out much-needed public housing capital and – adding insult to injury – raise the rent, requiring families to dedicate an additional five percent of their income to rent.