(WBNG Binghamton) New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo on Wednesday announced that $71 million is now available through New York State Homes & Community Renewal for shovel-ready projects to build affordable housing units across the state.
“Expanding affordable housing for New Yorkers in need has been a priority of the administration over the last two years,” Governor Cuomo said in a news release. “This latest investment will leverage hundreds of millions in public and private resources to further our goal of ensuring every New York family has access to housing, as well as launching shovel-ready construction projects across the state.”
According to a news release from Cuomo's office:
The Early Award and Unified Funding Rounds for 2013 incorporate several new elements which reinforce the State’s housing goals, including Disaster Relief Projects, Transit-Oriented Development, and projects in the Fort Drum Impact Area.
HCR Commissioner/CEO Darryl C. Towns said, "Governor Andrew Cuomo has charged state agencies to bring state resources together with local and federal resources in the most productive way. For us, that means working with our partners to create and preserve affordable housing, and doing it differently based on the diverse needs of specific regions. We will be looking for projects that will make a difference in local communities, and will leverage other resources, both public and private.”
Updates to the Unified Funding awards for 2013 include new resources in the Community Investment Fund (CIF) which appropriates $5 million for the new Rural and Urban Community Investment Fund; energy efficiency/green building performance requirements; and considerations for cost effectiveness. Of the new $5 million allocated for CIF awards, 60% percent will be allocated to projects in urban areas of New York State, and the remaining 40% will be allocated to projects in rural areas of the State. CIF funds can support the non-residential piece of mixed-use affordable housing developments in rural and urban areas, and in rural areas will support the preservation and rehabilitation of existing affordable housing.
For projects to be eligible for the Early Awards they must be high quality, shovel-ready projects which advance one of the State’s specific housing goals, which include:
•Priority projects identified in Regional Economic Development Council (REDC) plans
•Fort Drum Impact Area projects (North Country)
•Disaster Relief Projects (for communities directly impacted by Superstorm Sandy, Hurricane Irene or Tropical Storm Lee)
•Supportive housing projects serving veterans with special needs
•NYS Office for People with Development Disabilities (OPWDD) supportive housing projects
•Housing Opportunity Projects
•Transit-Oriented Development (TOD)
•Mitchell-Lama Portfolio Projects
•Rural Preservation Projects
•State Public Housing Restructuring Projects
The funds are available through HCR's Unified Funding Application, a single-source process to apply for several funding streams for affordable, multifamily developments. The unified application streamlines the process, as part of the Governor's efforts to break down the inefficient and duplicative silos that had previously governed state funding.
The $71 million is expected to leverage hundreds of millions of dollars in public and private resources. In 2012, HCR made 33 awards, totaling $91 million in low-interest loans and tax credits to build and preserve 2,060 units of affordable housing. The projects leveraged over $485 million in grants, loans and private resources.