NYS Legislature Offers Alternative Budget Plans

On Tuesday, March 14, 2023 the New York State Senate and Assembly released their respective “one house” budget plans.  Presented as resolutions, the one house budget bills are the formal response to Governor Hochul’s executive budget and they provide the template for the three way negotiations that will result in an FY 2024 New York State Budget.

New York State Rural Advocates are pleased and proud that the one house bills reflect a number of Advocates’ priorities including a proposed increase for RPC/NPC funding to roughly $125,000 in the contract that would begin in June of 2023.

Other Rural Advocates’ priorities included in the one house bills are increases for the RESTORE and Access to Home Programs.  In the current budget RESTORE is funded at $3.4 million.  In her executive budget, Governor Hochul returns RESTORE to the $1.4 million level.  The Senate proposes to fund RESTORE at $6 million and the Assembly is suggesting returning the program to $3.4.  Access to Home is funded in the Governor’s budget at $1 million as it has been for many years.  The Assembly would increase Access to $2 million and the Senate would take it to $3 million.

Both houses included funding for the Small Rental Development program that Advocates have actively supported since the SRDI demonstration program in 2017.  The Senate would provide $20 million for a small rental development program, the Assembly is offering $10 million.

Both houses restore $40 million to support the foreclosure intervention activities of the Homeowner Protection Program (HOPP).  The Legislature also proposes to restore funding for land banks.

Both houses of the Legislature reject Governor Hochul’s Housing Compact as presented.  The Legislature would remove the mandatory targets and zoning overrides in favor of an incentive-based approach.  For example, Legislators would generously fund the Governor’s Infrastructure Support Fund and there is language in both one house bills that would establish an affordable housing committees to study approaches to increasing the State’s housing stock.

There has been much talk in the last two years about the need to create a rental voucher program to support homeless and other high need households. Both houses propose $250 million to fund the Housing Access Voucher program (HAVP) as detailed in A.4021 (Rosenthal) and S. 568 (Kavanagh).   The Senate and Assembly also propose additional funding for the NYC Housing Authority and the Senate would also provide additional capital funding for Upstate Housing Authorities.

With all three budget proposals on the table, negotiations on a 2024 State Budget have begun in earnest.  The budget is due by COB on March 31 but there is growing talk in Albany the this budget could be late as the Governor and the Legislature wrangle over a host of issues including bail reform, charter schools, taxes and a host of other issues.

Stay tuned!

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