January 18, 2022, Albany New York
New York Governor Kathy Hochul today introduced her first executive budget proposal totaling $216 billion. The proposal projects balanced budgets out six years as the result of better than expected income and sales tax revenues and massive amounts of federal COVID relief dollars.
Affordable Housing has been a prominent topic of discussion, speculation and advocacy over the past several months and the result is a proposal that would commit a total of over $5 billion dollars including $4.5 billion in housing capital funds that will be invested over five years.
Rural Advocate’s preliminary analysis finds that most New York State’s traditional housing programs were flat funded in this executive proposal. This is true for the programs that most concern Rural Advocate’s members with RPC funded from the Mortgage Insurance fund (MIF) at $5.36 million which is expected to result in 2022 RPC contracts at or near the funding level of the past several years. The LPA programs are proposed to be similarly flat funded with RESTORE funded at $1.4 million, Access to Home at $1 million and New York Main Street at $4.2 million. New York State Rural Rental Assistance (RRAP) is proposed for $21.6 million which is expected to fully cover existing contracts.
Particularly disappointing is the proposal to leave the Affordable Housing Corporation program (AHC) funded at $26 million which is one million dollars more than this important program received in 1985. The other big capital housing programs are also proposed to be funded at recent levels with the Housing Trust Fund slated to receive $44.2 million, Homes for Working Families will see $14 million and the Homeless Housing and Assistance Program will again be funded at a robust $128 million.
As expected, the Governor also proposed to fund a new 5-year housing capital plan touted in the State of the State address as a $25 billion initiative to create or preserve 100,000 units over the life of the plan. According to budget documents, this plan is based on actual State appropriations totaling $4.5 billion dollars, an increase of $2 billion over the first five year plan.
The largest investments in the proposed five year plan include $1.5 billion for the development of Supportive Housing and another $1 billion for new multifamily construction. Also included are $300 million for the development of Senior Housing and $90 million for the development of middle income housing.
Rural Advocates are encouraged by 5-year plan commitments to invest in programs that impact Upstate and rural New York including an additional $80 million for the Rural and Urban Community Investment Fund (CIF), and new program of $450 million for multifamily preservation, $150 million for upstate Public Housing, $20 million to support Manufactured Home programs and $60 million for Small Building Rehab and New Construction. The 5-year proposal earmarks $400 million for Homeownership Programs and several new initiatives including $85 million for a program to promote and develop Accessory Dwelling Units and $250 million to support the electrification of existing affordable housing.