NYS Rural Advocates 2023 Legislative Agenda

  • Rural Preservation is an important strategy for addressing the unique challenges of rural affordable housing.  We call for full funding of $125,000/ year for fifty-six existing Rural Preservation Companies and four new RPCs to address unserved rural counties.  The appropriation should include a carve-out of $250,000 to support the Rural Housing Coalition’s training and technical assistance functions.                                                                                        Recommended 2023 funding: $7.75 million
  • The Affordable Housing Corporation project limits were updated in 2022 session.  Rural Advocates supports continued funding of AHC at $36 million and we call for the opportunity for program users to comment on proposed changes to the AHC program regulations.

Recommended 2023 funding: $36 million

  • The 2022/2023 budget contained $7 million of fund the Small Rental Development Initiative.  In order to support a viable statewide program Rural Advocates recommends that the program be funded at $20 million in 2023.  Rural Advocates also supports the creation of the program in statute.  Recommended 2023 funding: $20 million
  • NYS Rural Advocates recognize the need for robust funding for foreclosure mitigation and pre and post purchase home ownership counseling.  These efforts should be provided with a reliable stream of funding built on the 2022 appropriation.                                                                                   Recommended 2023 funding: $40 million
  • We support full funding of the important HOPE/RESTORE and ACCESS to Home programs.  Advocates supports program changes to increase administrative fees for the Access Programs to 10%. Recommended 2023 funding: RESTORE $4 million; ACCESS $4 million
  • We support the continuation of aggressive funding for the Homeless Housing and Assistance Program (HHAP) and its associated services programs. Recommended funding: $128 million in capital and $50 million for services
  • The Rural Rental Assistance Program (RRAP) provides essential rent subsidies to some of our State’s lowest income households.  We recommend an increase in RRAP funding to match increases in the federal Section 521 Rental Assistance Program.  Recommended 2023 funding:  $21,710,000
  • Manufactured Housing in a critical component of the rural housing stock.  Rural Advocates calls for additional funding for the Manufactured Home Replacement Program (MMHRP) and the Manufactured Home Advantage Program.  MMHRP is funded at $4 million/year from the 5-year Capital Plan but program lacks an underlying statue.  Rural Advocates calls for the adoption of a permanent Mobile Home Replacement program in statue and funded at $200K/unit.  Rural Advocates supports additional legislation to ensure and enhance resident’s right of first refusal when sale of a MH community is proposed.
  • The preservation of existing affordable rental housing in rural areas is of great concern to Rural Advocates.  This includes federally funded Section 515 Rural Rental Housing and older NYS funded projects.  The Rural aspect of the Community Investment Fund (Article 27 of PVH) was intended to serve for the preservation of these properties.  Rural and urban community investment fund was awarded $80 million in the 5-year capital plan.  Rural Advocates calls for a thorough review of the CIF to ensure that the program is serving its intended purpose.
  • We urge the establishment of a Services Coordinator Program to provide operators of affordable housing with resources and programmatic support to better meet the needs of our low-income residents.
  • New York State Rural Advocates and its members find New York State’s reimbursement funding model to be counterproductive.  The practice shifts both the expense of carrying a program and all of the risk to not for profit providers.  We strongly recommend that users and the agency work together to address the challenges that this policy creates for program users.