Cuomo introduces budget: funds RPCs at a slightly reduced level

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo released his $152.3 billion executive budget proposal Tuesday night.  The Governor’s briefing materials point out that the increase in this year’s proposal is once again less than 2% – and we note that this is accomplished in part by funding programs such as Rural Preservation “off budget”.  RPC base funding of $3.539 million is provided by sweeping “excess revenues” from the Mortgage Insurance fund included in an Article VII bill rather that including it  in one of the five regular appropriations bills.  The MIF funding for RPC will be supplemented by the RPC’s share of the final $6 million installment of JP Morgan Chase settlement funds.  Budget negotiations in 2016 resulted in $2 million in additional funds for RPC/NPC.  Advocates will be working to have supplemental funds included in this year’s budget as well.

A sigh of relief for RPCs FOR NOW

Preservation Programs were spared for now in the deficit reduction package for New York. Legislators did NOT go along with the Governor’s Proposal to cut the Preservation program in an effort to balance the New York State budget.

Anticipating that the program would be reduced as recommended, contract payments were actually cut. Now that the state budget stands through March 31, with only the six percent cut that the legislature did agree to in August, processing for payments  due to  preservation companies will begin this week for about  $9,100

Governor Releases Executive Budget for the State

RPC Program- The Executive Budget includes $4.597 million for Rural Preservation Companies. This would be enough to fund all RPCs at $65,000. It’s disappointing that last year’s final budget amount did not hold, but it’s no surprise, since this depended on a legislative add. So the Exective Budget kept the program whole as far as they are concerned. At least we start at a level we can add to and not restore a deep cut.  Again, it’s “cash” in the budget and easy to whack.

New Capital: As anticipated, there is $400 million in NEW capital proposed along with a capital budget based on last year’s budget for the various existing programs. The new money promises $100 million from SONYMA reserves for upstate, if passed by the legislature. We anticipate that this will be a negotiated process and we all need to work to see if we can make it happen. Rural
Advocates has taken a position that these funds would best be channeled Upstate through the existing programs: HTF small projects and seed money, RARP, Main Street, RESTORE and
other programs that have worked well for us. Although Administered by HFA, they will work in partnership with our other State Agencies involved with housing.

Rural Rent will return for another year.  Managers of older projects will want to note the budget language.  We began that conversation with the DHCR Commissioner at our annual meeting. To be continued for sure!

More updates as it unfolds-

Advocates Housing Budget Recommendations

Based on the input from our members at the annual meeting in Cooperstown, Advocates drafted a State Housing Budget Request

This does not reflect the NPC program and we will join with them to support their recommendations for the urban oriented program, as they support our housing requests. It was designed to be reasonable, based on our understanding of rural needs and capacity to deliver programs each year

Rural Community Development Corporations Supported

The Rural Preservation Program as well as its urban counter part, the Neighborhood Preservation Program, were recognized in the final State Budget as an important delivery mechanism for affordable housing. Legislative leadership on affordable housing stated it was their number one priority to see this program get an increase this year. The Governor’s budget did not cut the program, but did ask that a plan be created to review the preservation programs.