Hochul Budget Focuses on Housing Policy

New York Governor Kathy Hochul released her proposed 2024 state budget on Wednesday. For rural not for profit housing agencies, this budget is much more a policy statement than a budget. By contrast, the 2023 budget was all about money – $4.5 billion in housing capital to be spent over the next five years and as a result of last year’s huge commitment, this 2024 housing budget represents a return to more traditional spending patterns.

By NYS Rural Advocates calculations, the Governor is proposing to allocate just over $400 million for affordable housing in the proposed FY 24 year budget. As has long been the practice of New York Governors, the Hochul budget takes back most of the additional funding added in negotiations with the Legislature last year. The Rural and Neighborhood Preservation Programs were each reduced by the one hundred thousand dollars that was included last year in order to increase support for the Rural and Neighborhood Coalitions. The RESTORE program was cut from the $3.4 million to $1.4 million. Included is a proposed increase for the Affordable Housing Corporation (AHC). AHC was funded at $26 million for several years but last year received an increase to $36 million. Although the AHC appropriation appears to be $40.5 million it also appears that $14.5 million of that is headed to a non traditional AHC program and therefore, the AHC appropriation has also been reset to budgets before the last.

The other major capital programs were funded at traditional levels including $44.2 million for the Housing Trust Fund, $1 million for Access to Home, $4.2 million for the NY Main Street program and $14 million for Homes for Working Families. The Hocul budget would also eliminate the $7 million included last year to support the Small Rental Development Initiative.

There are some additions to the Capital Projects Fund including $50 million for the Homeowner Stabilization Fund, a new line for a $20 million Lead Abatement Program and a whopping $250 million to an Infrastructure Support Fund. After years of advocating for funds to be directed to the the little Infrastructure Development Demonstration Program (IDDP), Rural Advocate’s will be pressing for the new Infrastructure Fund to include much needed support for private sewer and water in rural areas.

The Governor’s budget proposal leans heavily on funding from the Mortgage Insurance Fund (MIF) where she would provide $5.360 million for RPCs and $12,830,000 for NPCs. As is traditionally the case, the Governor does not provide for funding for the NP Coalition and the Rural Housing Coalition. These line items will have to be included in budget language agreed to by the Governor and the Legislature. Also coming from the MIF are $21.710 million for Rural Rental Assistance and $50.780 million for the Homeless Support programs administered by the Office of Temporary and Disability insurance.

If you are looking for funding for Mobile Home replacement, Accessory Dwelling Units, Homeownership programs or senior housing, please look to the 5 year Housing Capital Plan funded in 2023 included in the table below.

Much of the ink expended on the Governor’s housing budget is devoted to the non-budgetary items she includes. The headlines focus on Hochul’s commitment to building 800,000 new housing units over the next ten years. She plans on achieving this goal through a series of actions including a sure to be controversial carrot and stick approach using local housing targets that would require that downstate communities produce a 3% increase in housing stock over three years. Upstate communities will need to produce a one percent increase over the same three years. The Division of Housing will be tasked with providing support for housing production through Planning and Infrastructure Grants and by removing obstacles to housing approvals. To review the entire package of the Governor’s housing policy proposals see the Human Services Briefing Book.

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