The Governors Opportunity Agenda 2015

Invest More Than $486 Million in Housing for Vulnerable New Yorkers

Nearly three million households in New York are financially insecure in their homes, paying over 30 percent of their income on housing costs.

Governor Cuomo today announced that he will invest more than $486 million in funding to provide housing for the State’s most vulnerable residents. The funding includes:

  • $229 million in capital resources for 2015-16 continuing the five-year House NY program, an increase of $32 million over available resources in 2014-15;
  • $257 million from the J.P. Morgan Chase settlement funds to support the following programs over the next several years: construction and rehabilitation of affordable housing, revitalization of neighborhoods, as well as encouraging community renewal activities; improvements to public, seniors and veterans housing; and low-cost financing and access to capital through Community Development Financial Institutions.

In 2013, Governor Cuomo launched House NY, a $1 billion investment over five years to create and preserve 14,300 affordable housing units, augmented by an additional $130 million added by the Governor in 2014. This initiative was the largest housing investment made by the State in at least 15 years.

Additionally, the Governor’s investment of federal storm recovery funds for affordable housing serves as a catalyst to attract private investment to the market—lowering mortgage costs and leading to more affordable rents.

Invest Additional $220 Million in Homeless Services 

The homeless population in New York is 80,590, making up 14 percent of the nationwide homeless population and is the second highest homeless population in the country, according to a 2014 HUD homeless census. The State currently spends approximately $780 million on homeless service programs administered or overseen by the Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance, including emergency homeless shelters, the development of new homeless housing, homelessness prevention activities, and rental assistance.

Continuing this support, Governor Cuomo proposed to invest an additional $220 million in homeless services over the next several years, including funding for New York City rental assistance and other programs that address the City’s growing homeless population. There are currently 60,352 homeless people in the shelter system, including 14,519 families, the largest number of homeless families in the country, according to the HUD homeless census. In 2014, the City’s shelter populations were up by 20 percent or more, and more than 20 additional shelters opened that year.

Invest $183 Million to Support NY/NY IV Housing Program

The State will use $183 million of J.P. Morgan Chase settlement funds to support a new NY/NY IV program to create 5,000 new supportive housing units for populations requiring additional support; New York City’s LINC 1 rental assistance program; and a cap on the rent contribution for public assistance recipients diagnosed with HIV/AIDS in New York City so they can afford to stay in their homes.

Commit $4.5 Million to Advance Anti-Hunger Task Force 

Currently, more than 3 million New Yorkers are food insecure, meaning they do not always have access to enough food for active, healthy lives. In 2013, Governor Cuomo created the Anti-Hunger Task Force, a statewide effort made up of experts, advocates, and government officials focused on ending hunger and increasing access to local foods in New York State.

In response to the recommendations outlined by the Anti-Hunger Task Force, the Governor today announced that he is committing $4.5 million to bolster the State’s emergency food system which will help 2,600 emergency food providers support the more than 3 million New Yorkers who access emergency food programs each year. The Governor will also invest $250,000 to help child and adult care programs maximize federal funds that subsidize free food for children and adults in those programs and $250,000 for programs to help connect schools with New York farmers to ensure that schools have the best access healthy, locally-grown food.

Additionally, the Governor will leverage federal funds to completely re-envision the State’s Human Services Information Technology Systems to improve client services and service coordination. This overhaul will make it easier for food insecure New Yorkers to tap into the benefits they need and get connected with other vital state-supported services.

The Task Force identified a few areas where federal funds are underutilized in the State: the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP), which provides funding in the form of reimbursements for food served in day cares, after school programs, and emergency shelters; Community Eligibility Provision, which reimburses a percentage of funding to schools or districts that offer universal free meals to all students; and Summer Food, which is another federal reimbursement program for meals in low income communities.

Create a $50 Million Nonprofit Infrastructure Capital Investment Program

The nonprofit sector provides services to many New Yorkers, including the State’s most vulnerable populations. Many of the services that nonprofits provide on behalf of the state result in long-term cost avoidance and savings by intervening to help avoid crisis situations. To support the work of the State’s nonprofit partners, the Governor will create a one-time $50 million Nonprofit Infrastructure Capital Investment Program.

The Program will make targeted investments in capital projects that will improve the quality, efficiency, accessibility, and reach of nonprofit human services organizations that serve New Yorkers. Grants will be awarded through a competitive process, with priority given to nonprofits with State contracts that provide direct services in high-need communities, particularly smaller nonprofits and nonprofits that lack access to other capital funding opportunities.

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