Assemblywoman Joyner Passes Legislation to Aid Low Income Seniors, Disabled Persons Secure Housing

Bronx, N.Y. – Extending opportunity for housing to low income seniors and disabled New Yorkers, the New York State Assembly passed legislation on June 19 that will permit local governments, particularly New York City, to quickly spur development for low income residential rental developments. Assembly Bill A.8238, first introduced by Assemblywoman Latoya Joyner (D – Bronx, 77th AD), quickly rolled through the Assembly this month.

Heralded in a 140-0 vote, this bill will improve housing conditions and opportunities for our state’s seniors and disabled residents through the Urban Development Action Area Project (UDAAP). By expediting the process by which development of federally financed housing for low income and disabled persons can be completed, this legislation can accelerate the land use review process – eliminating the added cost associated with what can be a lengthy approval process.

“This piece of legislation will extend the ability of local governments to utilize an expedited land use review process to meet the housing needs of low income seniors and disabled,” said Assemblywoman Joyner. “This process has been particularly helpful in the development of a 61-unit senior building known as ‘Artsbridge’ that is located in the Highbridge community in my district. Along with providing much needed housing, the building will also serve as the permanent home of the 70-member Highbridge Voices youth choir when it opens next year. Assembly Bill A. 8238 ensures that affordable housing for low income seniors and disabled New Yorkers can be built faster and at a lower cost while still protecting the public nature of New York City’s land use review process.”

Assembly Bill A.8238 will continue to generate new buildings that will receive operating subsidies from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). Since 2002, HUD has financed over 2,800 units for elderly or disabled persons of low income in New York City. Of these new units, more than 95 percent were allocated to communities in the Bronx and Brooklyn, where affordability of housing continues to be major concern.

New York State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli noted in a prior report that housing remains scarce for our community. For hard-working families paying rent, Bronx County has the highest proportion, approximately 57.6 percent, of households that face housing costs that eat up at least 30 percent of their income. Bronx also has a large percentage of households with gross rents at or above 50 percent of their income.

Thanks to passage of this bill, UDAAP will extend through June 30, 2018. New York State Senator Simcha Felder (D-Brooklyn, 17th SD) has introduced Senate Bill S.5914 as companion legislation. This Act shall take effect immediately

For more information, please contact Jamie Gilkey at (518) 455-5671 or Mike Giardina at (718) 538-2000.