After a banner year in 2017/18, the New York State budget for FY 2019 returned housing spending to more customary levels in the recently adopted appropriation plan. Even so, the final budget bill increased housing spending by some 63% over Governor Cuomo’s proposed executive budget to over $687 million for the accounts tracked by NYS Rural Advocates.
Rural and Neighborhood Preservation companies were spared a proposed 37% cut as the Assembly and Senate Housing Chairs negotiated an additional $6.172 million in Aid to Localities to supplement just over $12 million from the Mortgage Insurance Fund reserves proposed by the Governor. For the Rural Preservation Program the final 2019 appropriation totaled $5.360 million with $150,000 carved out for training and technical assistance to be provided by NYS Rural Housing Coalition. The RHC funding level is one hundred thousand dollars less than Rural Advocates had been calling for and came in spite of the Senate proposal to increase funding for the Coalition to $250,000.
The New York State Rural Rental Assistance program which provides section 8 like rent subsidies to residents of USDA Section 515 Rural Rental Housing is funded at $23,649,000 – an amount sufficient to meet anticipated demand for the program.
The 2019 budget plan will provide $132 million towards Governor Cuomo’s five year plan to create or preserve 200,000 units of affordable housing and to provide an additional 6000 units of supportive housing. The Capital Projects bill allocates $44.2 million to the Housing Trust Fund; $14 million for Homes for Working Families; $4.2 million for the New York Main Street Program and $63 million for the Homeless Housing and Assistance Program. Capital Projects bill also contains a new appropriation of $250 million for critical repairs and improvements for the New York City Housing Authority.
An allocation from the Mortgage Insurance Fund will provide the City of Albany $9 million to address its anticipated budget shortfall.
In an important policy change, the budget contains language that will allow for the bifurcation of the State Low Income Housing Tax Credit. This change will allow project developers to de-couple SLIC from federal Low Income Housing Tax credits in any given deal. This change is expected to vastly improve both the marketability and pricing of the State’s tax credit program.
Not included in the final budget agreement were two programs proposed by the Senate and supported by New York State Rural Advocates. The Senate one house budget bill included $10 million for the establishment of an Affordable Independent Senior Housing and Resident Advisor Program inspired by HUD’s Resident Advisor program. The Senate proposals would have appropriated another $10 million for the creation of a Statewide Manufactured Home Park Preservation Loan Fund to provide loan funds for improvements to park infrastructure and to replenish the fund used to assist in financing Mobile Home Park coop conversions. While neither proposal was included in the final budget, efforts to fund both programs are expected to continue.
The Senate one house budget bill would also have added $4 million to the Access to Home Program and $3.6 million for the HOPE/RESTORE program from the Mortgage Insurance Fund. In the final agreement, those programs were funded as the Governor proposed in the Capital Projects budget at $1 million for Access and $1.4 million for RESTORE. The Affordable Housing Corporation was funded at $26 million; $10 million less than was recommended by NYS Rural Advocates.
Two ongoing “budget” programs were created in state law with some important improvements to both. Again, resulting from efforts of the Senate Housing Committee, The HOPE/RESTORE program has become Article 29 of Private Housing Finance Law In codifying the RESTORE program, the Legislature acted to insure that grantees will be allowed administrative fees of 7.5% and provided for concrete time frames to complete programs. The new Article 30 of PVH is the New York Access to Home for Heroes Program. The program currently being funded as Access for Veterans has been placed in statute and definitions of eligible veterans has been modified to make the program available to a much wider group of military veterans.
A table comparing 2017/18 to the FY 2019 budget for items tracked by NYS Rural Advocates is included below.
|New York State Housing Budget|
|Capital Projects Fund||2018 Enacted||2019 Proposed||2019 Adopted|
|Affordable Housing Corp||$26,000,000||$26,000,000||$26,000,000|
|Homes for Working Families||$14,000,000||$14,000,000||$14,000,000|
|Housing Trust Fund||$44,200,000||$44,200,000||$44,200,000|
|New York Main Street||$4,200,000||$4,200,000||$4,200,000|
|Public Housing Modernization||$6,400,000||$6,400,000||$6,400,000|
|Access to Home||$1,000,000||$1,000,000||$1,000,000|
|Homeless Housing and Assistance Program||$63,000,000||$63,000,000||$63,000,000|
|New York City Housing Authority Program||$250,000,000|
|Aid to Localities|
|Housing Development Fund||$8,227,000||$8,227,000||$8,227,000|
|Local Area Program||$4,256,000||$3,140,000||$3,140,000|
|Mortgage Insurance Fund*|
|Rural Rental Assistance||$22,960,000||$23,649,000||$23,649,000|
|Community Investment Fund||$34,500,000||$0|
|Housing Trust Fund||$21,000,000||$0|
|Homes for Working Families||$2,000,000||$0|
|HHAP/AIDS operational support||$6,522,000||$8,333,000||$8,333,000|
|HHAP Supportive Services||$0||$0||$2,000,000|
|City of Albany||$12,500,000||$0||$9,000,000|
|Mobile Home Replacment||$1,000,000||$0|
|Total Housing spending||$941,708,000||$420,067,000||$687,239,000|
|* Appropriations from the Mortgage Insurance Fund were moved from the ELFA Article VII to the State Revenue Bill in the final budget|