NYS Rural Advocate’s 2021 Housing Budget Testimony


Presented to a Joint hearing of

New York State Senate Finance Committee


New York State Assembly Ways and Means Committee, February 2, 2021

Presented by

Blair W. Sebastian, for New York State Rural Advocates

Michael Borges, for Rural Housing Coalition of New York

Good afternoon Senator Krueger, Assemblywoman Weinstein, Senator Kavanagh, Senator Helming, Assemblyman Cymbrowitz, and distinguished members of the panel.  On behalf of the New York State Rural Advocates and the Rural Housing Coalition of New York, thank you for this opportunity share our thoughts and observations about the impact of the proposed 2022 executive housing budget on small towns and rural places around our State.

Meeting the affordable housing needs of rural communities presents a number of unique challenges.  These are small scale communities made up of widely scattered populations with limited access to traditional sources credit and few philanthropic resources.  While housing costs are often lower than comparable metropolitan regions, New York’s rural counties exhibit median incomes that are less than 80% of the median incomes in the more urbanized counties. The widespread occurrence of substandard housing in rural communities can be attributed to advanced age of the rural housing stock and to the limited resources available to provide ongoing capital investment.

It is important to recognize that rural communities are dominated by homeownership tenure and there is surprising evidence that many homeowners – particularly those on fixed incomes – are seriously cost burdened at rates similar to renters statewide.   Rural renters, although fewer in number than in urban places, also face serious challenges accessing safe, decent affordable housing opportunities.

By way of highlights, our top priority remains the Rural Preservation Program.  As we discuss below, Rural Preservation Companies are governed by boards of directors who are members of the communities served by the RPCs.  This means that the Company’s programs and activities are tailored to the specific needs and priorities of the community that they serve.  Many of the other programs we discuss below constitute the toolboxes from which RPCs draw the tools with which they attack local affordable housing problems.

As owner occupied housing stock is dominate in rural areas, AHC, the Affordable Housing Corporation provides a critical resources for the rehabilitation of existing one to four family homes and it supports the new construction and acquisition of existing properties that serve the homeownership community.  We are concerned that AHC funding has not kept pace with the State’s other major housing programs and we urge you to increase funding for this critical rural resource.

While rural housing tenure is dominated by homeowners, low income renters also face huge challenges.  Even though rents in rural places often seem modest compared to high cost markets, the condition of much of the rural rental housing stock is dismal.  We appreciate the work of private affordable housing developers in upstate New York but we note that scale of most rental development these days overwhelms our small communities.  Our not for profits have a wonderful track record of developing appropriately scaled rental housing but we currently lack the resources to accomplish that work.  We need a source of funding for small rental projects.

Finally, I want to point out that the executive did not include funding for the Rural Housing Coalition as part of the RPP budget.  The training and technical assistance component of RHC is a critical element of the RPPs success.  I would like to introduce Mike Borges, the new executive director of the Rural Housing Coalition to briefly talk about new initiatives he is working on.

Rural Preservation Companies (RPCs) are a key element of New York’s strategy to address the challenges faced by the State’s smaller communities.  RPCs are not for profit companies controlled by volunteer boards of directors with the majority of members required to live or work in the service area.  In order to successfully meet the affordable housing needs of the low income residents of New York’s small towns and rural communities, NYS Rural Advocates calls for the full funding of the Rural Preservation Program (RPP).

The Executive proposes to fund the Rural Preservation Program (RPP) with $5,360,000 from excess reserves of the Mortgage Insurance Fund in 2020.  The Executive does not include funding for the important technical assistance and training functions of the Rural Housing Coalition.

In order to fully fund currently active RPCs and restore preservation services to three of six unserved or underserved counties and to support the work of the New York State Rural Housing Coalition, Rural Advocates calls on the Legislature to provide the additional funding to provide RPP with a total appropriation of $6.2 million dollars.  NYS Rural Advocates recommends that language be added to the budget to provide $200,000 for the New York State Rural Housing Coalition from the RPP appropriation.

Affordable Housing Corporation:  The Executive proposes to flat fund AHC at $26 million from the Capital Projects budget.  NYS Rural Advocates is calling for an increase in AHC funding to $40 million this year.  This increase is necessary to offset the impacts of the anticipated increase in per unit funding limits and to provide a modest increase in program funding to satisfy a small portion of the overwhelming demand for this very effective program.

Homeownership is the dominate form of tenure in Rural New York.  With well over a half a million owner occupied housing units, the homeownership rate in rural service areas exceeds 70% compared to a statewide homeownership rate of just 54%,  (note that New York’s homeownership rate places us dead last among the 50 States!).  AHC provides funding that supports homeowners including down payment and closing cost assistance, new construction and rehabilitation of owner occupied one to four family homes and mobile home replacement programs.

Homeowner Protection Program (HOPP): Promoting and protecting homeownership is a priority for NYS Rural Advocates and therefore we are deeply concerned that mortgage delinquency rates have reached the highest levels ever due the pandemic’s impact on our State’s economy.  We note that delinquencies disproportionally impact the minority households that are already far behind in rates of homeownership.  The foreclosure crisis has certainly not ended but the funds supporting the HOPP program will be exhausted in July of this year.  We urge the Legislature to provide $20 million for a full service homeownership counseling program that includes foreclosure counseling, mitigation assistance and legal services.

Small Rental Projects:  Rental housing developers in New York have access to a broad menu of capital funding sources however, our network of community based not for profits have found that none of the State’s standing capital programs are particularly suitable for the small scale rental projects that are most appropriate in rural communities.

In recent years HCR has offered one time programs that effectively served the need for small projects. Most recently the Small Rental Development Initiative (SRDI) was organized by the HCR Office of Community Renewal (OCR).  In 2017 OCR used $22 million in recaptured federal HOME funds to underwrite 21 small projects ranging from 3 to 24 units and averaging about 9 units per award.  The awards resulted in a mix of rehabilitation and new construction projects located in 18 different counties.  The 2017 SRDI was a one-time effort with recaptured federal funds.   The 2017 round was seriously oversubscribed and the number of potential small projects under consideration by project sponsors continues to grow. 

In 2013 a similar scaled and equally successful program was funded as a set aside within the New York State Housing Trust Fund.  Based on that experience we have proposed that the HTF appropriation of $44.2 million be increased by $10 million to support a SRDI like program at OCR.  We recognize that there may be other sources of funds to underwrite a small project initiative including the transfer of under-utilized funds from the Small Building Participation Loan Program or the Urban and Rural Community Fund.  However, we believe it would be beneficial if a small project program were to become a permanent part of HCR’s regular offerings.

ACCESS to Home and HOPE/RESTORE: Access to Home supports the modification of individual housing units to meet the needs of households with a disabled member. HOPE/RESTORE provides funding for the rapid response to emergency home repair needs of elderly homeowners. There is unlimited need for both programs and there is substantial not for profit capacity to deliver these programs.

The 2022 Executive budget funds Access to Home at $1 million from the Capital Projects Fund. New York State Rural Advocates recommends a $2 million addition to Access to Home for a total of $3 million in program funding. HOPE/RESTORE is proposed at $1.4 million from Capital Project Fund.  Rural Advocates recommends a $1million addition for a current program appropriation of $2.4 million. 

Homeless Housing and Assistance Program: HHAP supports a range of homeless housing developments by providing capital funds for emergency, transitional and permanent housing for homeless households. HHAP has a history of flexibility with respect to scale and design that allows the program to be a highly effective tool in a wide range of situations including in the smallest rural communities.

The 2022 executive budget proposed to fund HHAP at $128 million with a $5 million set aside for HIV/AIDs housing from the capital projects fund.    We recognize that success of any homeless housing project depends on the quality of service that accompanies the housing.  Rural Advocates support the allocation sufficient funding to fully underwrite the support services programs associated with HHAP.

Rural Rental Assistance: Rural Advocates support the Rural Rental Assistance Program (RRAP) to provide “Section 8 like” rent subsidies to some 5000 very low-income disabled, senior and female headed households living in properties with Section 515 Rural Rental Housing loans.  RRAP has successfully leveraged federal Section 521 rental assistance in amounts similar to those provided by New York State.  The Executive proposes to fund RRAP at $20,630,000.  Rural Advocates support this appropriation.

 Many residents of Rural Rental Housing have suffered loss of income due to the COVID Pandemic. We encourage NYS HCR and the state legislature allocate federal COVID rental assistance funds to augment both state and federal Rural Rental Assistance as necessary to meet the increased need.

Manufactured and Mobile Homes:  There are nearly 200,000 mobile homes in New York State.  Many older mobile homes in rural areas are found to be seriously deteriorated or dilapidated.  Mobile Homes located on owned lands benefit from the Mobile and Manufactured Home Replacement Program (MMHRP). For the past several years MMHRP has been funded from the first Five Year Capital Plan.  Those funds are now exhausted and no new funding is proposed in the executive budget.  Advocates recommend the addition of $3 million in current appropriations to support this important program

The 2022 Executive Budget provides $5 million to support the Manufactured Home Advantage Program which provides loans for infrastructure and other park improvements; for the acquisition of parks by nonprofits and to support resident ownership of communities through a co-op model.  New York State Rural Advocates supports this appropriation.

NY Main Street Program (NYMS): New York’s modest Main Street program has proven to be an effective tool for revitalizing both commercial and residential elements of our downtown areas. Rural Advocates believes that it is time to expand the program and include technical assistance and capacity building in addition to program funding.  The Executive proposes to fund NYMS with $4.2 million from the Capital Projects Fund.  We note that over the past several years the base appropriation for NYMS has been enhanced with funds from the JP Morgan Chase settlement resulting in annual funding of over $6 million.  The JPMC funds are now exhausted leaving the Main Street Program with an effective funding reduction of two million dollars for the 2022 program year.

Rural Advocates recommend an additional appropriation of $2.3 million resulting in a total of $6.5 million in current appropriations to support the NYMS program.

Governor Cuomo releases 2022 Executive Budget

Governor Cuomo released his 2022 Executive budget proposal yesterday (January 19, 2021).  Due to the impact of COVID 19, this is a rather complicated budget with built in contingencies.  The budget as presented is based on an assumption that the Federal Government will provide New York State with $6 billion in COVID relief to be budgeted over two years.  This is the amount the Governor sees as the minimum amount that would come to New York under the Biden administration.  The budget contains a contingency that if the federal government provides New York with the $15 billion that the Governor believes we are due, funds cut from large accounts like education, medicaid and other large programs would be restored.  On the other hand, if the State receives less that $6 billion in Relief funding, further cuts will have to be made. For the most part, housing programs seem to have been protected from the initial cuts (see the attached table). 

The Rural and Neighborhood Preservation programs are funded at last year’s level with funding from the Mortgage Insurance Fund (MIF).  Rural Preservation is scheduled to receive $5.36 million and Neighborhood Preservation is allocated $12.83 million

Rural Rental Assistance is funded at $21.63 million. Advocates expect to see additional funds for rural renters from the recently announced federal rental assistance program.

The LPA programs are funded at last year’s level with Access to Home funded at $1 million and RESTORE at $1.4 million.  Main Street is scheduled to receive its customary $4.2 million,  Keep in mind that in recent years these funding levels have been enhanced with funds from the JP Morgan Chase settlement.  The JPMC funds are now exhausted so it should be expected that the amount funds awarded under these programs will be slightly reduced going forward.   There is no funding in this budget for the Mobile and Manufactured Home Replacement Program. The Manufactured Home Advantage Program will receive $5 million.

The major capital programs are generally flat funded with the Housing Trust Fund receiving $44.2 million in bonded funding.  Homes for Working Families will receive $14 million from the same source.    A major disappointment for Rural Advocates is that the Affordable Housing Corporation remains flat funded at $26 million.  AHC is an area where Rural Advocates expects to press for additional funds from legislature.

The Governor continues his commitment to Homeless and Supportive housing with HHAP receiving $128 million in capital funds again this year.  The HHAP supportive services programs are scheduled to receive $45 million from the MIF and $65 million in MIF funding will be directed to NYC homeless shelters. The Cuomo budget promises to continue funding of a multiyear capital plan with a commitment of $186 million in new bonded capital to continue funding for the development of 20,000 units of supportive housing . There is an additional $64 million for supportive housing in the OTDA budget.

There is no funding for HOPP or other foreclosure programs in this budget.  HOPP currently has funding available to carry the program into July.  Rural Advocates will be following the lead of HOPP providers in advocating for additional funds to continue the program.

That’s what we know so far.  Stay tuned for more information as it comes available and please plan on joining our virtual advocacy event on February 23rd.  We will have more information on that event soon.

To see the budget table click below

NYS State Legislature passes COVID-19 Housing Legislation

The New York State Legislature returned to Albany last week for the first time since early April to pass a legislation addressing the COVID 19 pandemic.

The action at the Capitol includes the passage of the emergency rent relief act of 2020. The legislation creates an interim rent assistance program that will provide vouchers to building owners on behalf of eligible low income, rent burdened households and will cover the gap between 30% of the household’s income and contract rent up to 125% of FMR. To be administered by the Division of Housing and Community Renewal the program will cover a period from April 1 through July 31, 2020 and is funded with $100 million in federal funds provided to the State through the CARES Act. The commissioner of DHCR is authorized to delegate the administration of portions of the program to other state agencies, counties, cities or towns, PHAs and non-profit organizations.

In other housing related action, the Legislature amended state banking law to require New York regulated financial institutions to grant up to 90 days of forbearance to residential mortgage holders who can demonstrate financial hardship as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The borrower can choose either to extend their loan for the length of the forbearance or defer the arrears as a lump sum payment due at the maturity of the mortgage.

Also passed by both houses of the Legislature and sent to the Governor is the Tenant Safe Harbor Act that allows courts to issue money judgments but prohibits the eviction of residential tenants suffering hardship during the COVID-19 period for the non-payment of rent.

Governor Cuomo is expected to sign these and other COVID-19 related legislation into law.

Governor Cuomo releases 2021 executive budget proposal

January 22, 2020

Governor Andrew Cuomo presented his annual budget address yesterday afternoon in Albany.  The actual budget bills were not released until later in the evening.  Advocates have been concerned about news that New York State is facing a 2021 budget deficit in excess of $6 billion making funding cuts a possibility and restoration of cuts much more difficult.  But, for RPCs and NPCs the news was very good.  Governor Cuomo has proposed to fund RPCs at $5,360,000 or at last year’s final level from excess reserves of the Mortgage Insurance Fund (MIF).  This is a very big win for Rural and Neighborhood Preservation companies in that it establishes a new base line of funding for the program.  NPC is funded at $12,830,000 – also last year’s final number.  It is not yet clear how this will translate to RPC contract amounts for the 2020/2021 contract cycle as there are still some unanswered questions but organizations can expect funding at a level similar to those of the past several years.  This show of support from the Governor is a testament to the great work being done by RPCs.  Congratulations to you all!

Rural Advocates are disappointed by flat funding of the Affordable Housing Corporation at $26 million. The proposed level of funding represents a $1 million or a 4% increase in total over the past 35 years.  There is a proposal under active consideration and supported by Rural Advocates to increase AHC’s per unit limits.  Given demand for the program and the impact of new per unit limits, AHC desperately needs a funding increase.  Rural Advocates has joined with Habitat for Humanity and others to call for AHC funding to increase from the current $26 million to $44 million which would put the program on par with the Housing Trust Fund.

Funding for the continuation of our foreclosure mitigation efforts does not appear this budget proposal.  Advocates are calling for $20 million to continue a HOPP-like foreclosure program . Rural Advocates support an expanded, full service housing counseling program with pre and post purchase counseling in addition to the foreclosure work. 

The Rural Rental Assistance Program is funded at $21 million from the Mortgage Insurance Fund.  For several years, RRAP was under a great deal of pressure but the program now seems to be on a stable funding trajectory.

The capital programs budget is very similar to last year.  RESTORE is proposed at $1.4 million. Rural Advocates support a funding increase for RESTORE to bring the program to $2.4 million.   Access to Home is at $1 million – flat funding for a program that is much needed in rural communities and for which there is plenty of demand. 

The Housing Trust Fund is funded at $44.2 million. Rural Advocates supports a modest increase in HTF in order to fund a small project set aside to support a program modeled after the Office of Community Renewal’s Small Rental Project Development Initiative (SRDI). 

New York State’s very successful Main Street program is also flat funded at $4.2 million.  

Big news alluded to in the Governor’s address, HHAP funding will be increased from the current $64 million to $128 million. This increase reflects the success that the Office of Temporary Disability Assistance (OTDA) has had in funding projects that provide high quality housing for homeless individuals and families in a very wide range of settings. HHAP has been a great source of funding for small projects serving special populations in rural communities.    The Homeless services programs will also receive funding from the MIF at $42.641 million.

Join the New York State Rural Advocates In Cooperstown

NYS Rural Advocates invite you to join us for a day long discussion of state and federal housing policy at our annual Policy Retreat at the beautiful Otesaga Resort Hotel in Cooperstown.  Our meeting will convene at 11:00 AM on Wednesday, October 30.  The discussion will be used by Rural Advocates Board of Directors as we develop our 2020 Legislative Agenda.

Wednesday meeting will include coffee and pastries in the morning and wonderful Otesaga luncheon buffet.  If you can join us for an overnight, you will be treated to a late afternoon reception in one of the hotels lovely suites followed by an elegant sit down dinner in the Otesaga’s main dining room.  Thursday morning, after breakfast, the Board will hold its annual re-organizational meeting and adopt a legislative agenda.  Fee for the event is $110.  Overnight stay at the Otesaga is $243 which includes a great room and three delicious meals.  For meeting registration click here. For Room reservations, please contact the hotel directly (607) 547-9931 between 8 and 5 Monday through Friday and mention NYS Rural Advocates.

NYS Rural Advocates to Convene in Albany

New York State Rural Advocates will hold their annual Legislative Conference February 26 and 27 in Albany.  The Legislative Conference offers Advocates’ members and supporters an opportunity join with colleagues to discuss current legislative and policy issues.  It is also the time to meet with elected officials to discuss how the state budget and legislative initiatives will impact their communities.

The event kicks off with a Rural Advocates’ Board dinner on the evening of February 26 at the Holiday Inn express in downtown Albany.  On Wednesday morning the 27th the event moves to the State Capitol complex with a breakfast meeting in the Albany room.  The chair persons of the Assembly and Senate Housing Committees have been invited to join us as Advocates prepare to spend the day visiting with elected officials and legislative staff.

Additional information and registration materials are available here  2019 Legislative Meeting Registration

NYS Rural Advocates’ road to Albany goes through Cooperstown!

New York State Rural Advocates have set November 8 for their Annual Meeting and Policy Discussion at the Otesaga Hotel in Cooperstown.

This year’s meeting is timed to allow for a discussion of critically important November 6th state and federal elections.  The U.S. House of Representatives and the New York State Senate both may face a change in the majority party.  There is even a chance that the U.S. Senate could flip.  A change of the party in control of any or all of those bodies will result in new Legislative leadership, new committee chairs and a change in status for your elected representative.  This will be our first chance to discuss what any changes might mean.

The annual fall meeting is where the Rural Advocates begins building our state legislative agenda for the 2019 session of the New York State Legislature.  In order to better understand the needs of rural New York, Advocates solicits input from members, colleagues and peers and we use that information to craft our initial legislative agenda.

Please join us in Cooperstown for this important gathering.  Find the registration and hotel details here NYSRA annual meeting notice 2018


Housing Fairs Well in New York’s FY 2019 Budget

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
HOPE/RESTORE $1,400,000 $1,400,000 $1,400,000
Housing Program $541,525,000 $132,000,000 $132,000,000
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
Total $701,725,000 $292,200,000 $542,200,000
Aid to Localities
Housing Development Fund $8,227,000 $8,227,000 $8,227,000
CDBG $40,000,000 $40,000,000 $40,000,000
Weatherization $32,500,000 $32,500,000 $32,500,000
Local Area Program $4,256,000 $3,140,000 $3,140,000
Rural Preservation $1,821,000
Neighborhood Preservation $4,351,000
Total $84,983,000 $83,867,000 $90,039,000
Mortgage Insurance Fund*
Rural Rental Assistance $22,960,000 $23,649,000 $23,649,000
Neighborhood Preservation $8,479,000 $8,479,000 $8,479,000
Rural Preservation $3,539,000 $3,539,000 $3,539,000
Mitchell Lama $39,500,000 $0
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
Land Trusts $1,000,000 $0
NORC $1,000,000 $0
NORC $1,000,000 $0
Total $155,000,000 $44,000,000 $55,000,000
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




Trump’s 2019 Budget Would Devastate Affordable Housing Efforts: Rural Housing Advocates Have More Immediate Concerns

President Donald Trump’s administration released its FY 2019 federal budget proposal on Monday (2/11/2018) and as with his 2018 budget; the President proposes to slash affordable housing and community development programs.  Trump would zero out the HOME Partnership Program, Community Development Block Grant (CDBG), and the National Housing Trust Fund.  At USDA Rural Development the budget eliminates funding for the Section 502 direct mortgage loan program, Section 504 loans and grants, Water and Wastewater grants and guarantees and Community Facility Loans.  The list of cuts and program eliminations goes on and on but as was the case with the President’s 2018 budget, Congress is expected to ignore the President’s proposal.   (A table is appended to the end of this article with 2017 adopted budget and 2018 budget proposals from the Senate and House).

As of this writing, Congress and the President have our federal government operating on the fourth of a series of Continuing Resolutions (CR) that generally funds the government at 2017 levels.  Both Houses of Congress now believe that they are closing in on a deal for a FY 2018 budget that would cover the period October 1, 2017 through September 2018.  In adopting the current CR, Congress agreed to lift the 2011 Budget Control Act limits allowing defense spending to increase by $80 billion and domestic spending to rise by $63 billion in FY18.   This step was not assured but was absolutely necessary if they were going to avoid deep cuts in a range of domestic spending including HUD and USDA programs.  Advocates should be watching as the Congress attempts to negotiate an FY 18 budget by early next month.  Generally, housing advocates would favor the Senate’s approach to the budget over the House proposal.

Meanwhile, the recently adopted federal tax bill and the Cuomo administration’s proposed FY 19 New York State budget contain serious challenges for the development of affordable rental housing.  While housing advocates were successful in lobbying for the continuation of the federal Low Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC), Private Activity Bonds and their associated 4% tax credits in the tax bill, the value of these tax credits will be somewhat diminished as the corporate tax rate falls from 35% to 21%.  The net result is that New York’s commitment to invest $2.55 million in affordable housing will leverage less in private equity investment than would have been the case under the previous tax law.

Further diminishing the leverage of state housing capital, Governor Cuomo proposes to defer claims for the State Low Income Housing Credit (SLIHC) for two years.  While this action does not stop the allocation of SLIHC it is expected to cool the interest of investors and result in a reduced amount of equity that developers will raise through the sale of the credits.

Below is the table that NYS Rural Advocates will be using to track progress towards the FY 2018 and FY 2019 federal budget.  Once again, we would like to thank Rapoza Associates and the National Rural Housing Coalition for this template.

Federal Housing and Community Development Programs
HUD Appropriations – Selected Programs,  FY 17 Final, FY18 Budget, House, Senate and FY 19 Budget — $ in millions
HUD FY 17 Final FY 18 Budget FY 18 House FY 18 Senate FY 18 Final FY 19 Budget
HOME 950 0 850 950   0
Capacity Building 0 0 0 0   0
Transformation Initiative 0 0 0 0   0
Housing Counseling 55 43 50 47   43
Community Development Fund 3060 0 2960 3060   0
  CDBG Formula funding 3000 0 2900 3000   0
Choice Neighborhoods Initiative 137.5 0 20 50   0
Housing Trust Fund** 220 0       0
SHOP ## 54 0 45 54   0
Section 108 Program Level 300 0 300 300   0
Section 202 Housing for Elderly 502.4 510 573 573   566
NeighborWorks 140 0 140 140   27.4
EPA FY 17 Final FY 18 Budget FY 18 House FY 18 Senate FY 18 Final FY 19 Budget
Clean Water SRF 1393.8 1393 1143.8 1.394   997
Safe Drinking Water SRF 863.2 863.2 863.2 864   863
**Mandatory Account authorized under HERA of  2008 and proposed for elimination in 2018
## House number includes $30m ($ 5m for rural) for Sec.4;$5 million for national technical assistance for rural; $10 M for SHOP loans
Senate number includes $35 m for capacity building for Sec.4 ;$5 m for rural; $10 m for SHOP loans;$4 m for veterans



Agriculture Appropriations — Selected Programs  FY 17 Final, FY18 Budget, House, Senate, FY 19 Budget  — $ in millions

RHS/RUS Programs FY 17 Final FY 18 Budget FY 18 House FY 18 Senate FY 18 Final FY 19 Budget
502 Single Family Direct 1,000 0 900 1,000   0
502 Single Family Guaranteed 24,000 24,000 24,000 24,000   24,000
504 Loans 26.278 0 24 26.278   0
504 Grants #28.7 0* [0] #28.7   0
514 Farm Labor Housing Loans 23.855 0 15 23.855   0
515 Rural Rental Housing 35 0 23.398 35   0
516 Farm Labor Housing Grants 8.336 0 6 8.336   0
521 Rural Rental Assistance 1,405.03 1,345.29 1,345.29 1,345.00   1,371.00
523 Self-Help TA 30 0 25 30   0
533 Housing Preservation Grants #5 0 [0] #5   0
538 Rental Housing Guaranteed 230 250 230 230   250
Multi-Family  Restructuring (BA) 41.4 20 35 41.4   0
Housing Preservation  Demonstration 0 0 (15) (22)   0
Voucher Demonstration (19.4) (20) (20) (19.4)   0
Supervisory TA Grants 0 0 0 0   0
Community Facility Loans 2,600 3,000 2,600 3,000   3,500
Community Facility Grants 30 0* [0] 30   0
Community Facility Guarantee 148.305 0 148.305 148.305   0
Water-Wastewater Disposal Program Account 571.19 0 472.70 550.38    
Water-Wastewater Loans 1,200 0 1,200 1,200   1,200
Water-Wastewater Grants 391.98 0 358.9 393.98   0
Water-Wastewater Guarantee 50 0 50 50   0
Solid Waste Grants 4 0 4 4   0
Small Systems Revolver 1 0 1 1   0
Rural Business Enterprise Grants 24 0 24 24   0
Intermediary Re-lending 18.889 0 17.5 18.889   0
RCDI 4 0 0 4   0
B&I 919.765 0 919 919   0
Rural Microenterprise Investment BA/Program Authority 0/0 0/0 0/0 0/0   0
   Rural Economic Infrastructure Grants N/A 162 122.692 0   0
            REIG – Appalachian  Region   [80] [60] N/A   0
( ) included in amount displayed for Multi- Family Restructuring
* Included in Rural Economic Infrastructure Grants, established in the 2018 Budget Request.
# Included in the amount provided for Rural Housing Assistance Grants – $33.701 million.
[] included in the amount for REIG


Rural Advocates schedule 2018 Legislative Conference

NYS Rural Advocates 2018

Legislative Conference

 February 26, 2018 – Hilton Garden Inn, Troy

February 27, 2018 – The Albany Room, Empire State Plaza

Monday, February 26, 2018

New York State Rural Advocates has secured a small block of rooms at the Hilton Garden Inn in Troy 235 Hoosick Street, Troy at the very special rate of $111/ night (The HGI is 10 miles and 15 minutes from the Empire State Plaza).  For room reservations, call the HGI reservation desk at (877) 782-9444 and mention room code RADV.  The room block is valid through 2/5/2018.

Rural Advocates Board and guests will gather for dinner at 5:30 at the HGI where we expect to put the final touches on our Legislative Agenda.  Dinner will be some form of “Dutch treat” and all are welcome to join us.

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

 Rural Advocates will host a Legislative Briefing and Breakfast in the Albany Room on the Concourse at the Empire State Plaza.  All Rural Advocates members are encouraged to attend.  Our agenda will include an overview of Rural Advocates 2018 Legislative Agenda, updates on legislative action to date,  a review of Tuesday’s legislative appointment schedules, and tips on making the ask.  We want to make the most of your time in Albany.  Our discussion will focus on of YOUR rural housing concerns including our top priority of securing an increase in Rural Preservation funding and protecting the housing programs we use.  We expect to be joined at the meeting by several leading members of the New York State Legislature.

After a hot breakfast in the Albany Room, we move to the Capitol for legislative visits. Plan on making appointments with your Senators and Assembly Members and join with others from your region to remind your elected officials of the impact of your work.  Rural Advocates will coordinate meetings with Legislative and Administration leaders.  Please contact us at nysruraladvocates @gmail.com if you need assistance.

Registration Deadline Feb 15, 2017: Return the form below with payment to NYS Rural Advocates: PO Box 101, Cambridge, NY 12816.   Phone: 518-573-2255. Registration of $110 includes breakfast, gratuities and advocacy materials.


NYS Rural Advocates 2018

Legislative Conference

 February 27, 2018 – Empire State Plaza


I (we) will be participating in NYS Rural Advocates’ Legislative Conference and will be advocating for the Rural Preservation Program and for a fair shake for Rural New York!

Name: _____________________________________________________________

Organization: _______________________________________________________

Number of Attendees: _________________

Amount Enclosed ($110/attendee) $ ___________________

Names of Additional attendees: ________________________________________









2018 Legislative Meeting Registration