Albany, NY - September 30, 2015 - Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced $20 million is available for the construction of new affordable housing units damaged by Superstorm Sandy, Hurricane Irene or Tropical Storm Lee.
“These communities have witnessed first-hand the damage caused by extreme weather and we must ensure we build back stronger to adjust to this new normal,” Governor Cuomo said. “This funding will help ensure that affordable housing in these areas is safer and more resilient against whatever Mother Nature throws our way.”
Qualified housing developers are invited to submit proposals for properties to be developed in the following eligible counties: Albany, Broome, Chemung, Chenango, Clinton, Columbia, Delaware, Dutchess, Essex, Franklin, Fulton, Greene, Hamilton, Herkimer, Montgomery, Nassau, Oneida, Orange, Otsego, Putnam, Rensselaer, Rockland, Saratoga, Schenectady, Schoharie, Suffolk, Sullivan, Tioga, Tompkins, Ulster, Warren, Washing and Westchester.
Funding will come from the Governor’s Office of Storm Recovery, out of its $4.4 billion federal allotment from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Community Development Block Grant-Disaster Recovery Program, and overseen through the Homes and Community Renewal's Small Project Affordable Rental Construction program. The funding will be administered by the Community Preservation Corporation, a leading not-for-profit affordable housing and neighborhood revitalization organization.
“Our mandate from Governor Andrew Cuomo is to create and preserve affordable housing opportunities and revitalize communities Statewide,” said Homes and Community Renewal Commissioner and CEO James S. Rubin. “This is especially true in areas where people’s lives were upended by the ferocity of those three severe storms. Our collaborative effort with Community Preservation Corporation will enhance the quality of life of storm-affected people in low-density areas, not usually reached in typical housing programs. In addition to the economic benefit construction brings to a community, New Yorkers of modest means will have a secure and well-built place to call home.”
The Community Preservation Corporation will oversee the development of approximately 150 to 200 rental units, with at least 51 percent of new units at each property to be designated for local residents earning below 80 percent of the area median income. The program will target small properties, with eight to 20 units each in low-density areas that may not be normally reached by housing programs. Eligible projects could also include the adaptive reuse or substantial rehabilitation of vacant buildings.
“This program is closely in line with Community Preservation Corporation’s steadfast commitment to stabilizing and strengthening New York State by bringing much-needed capital to communities destroyed by natural disasters,” said Rafael E. Cestero, President and CEO of Community Preservation Corporation. “It is crucial to preserve these small developments where the majority of New York renters live, and we will leverage the expertise of our local field offices to identify areas with the greatest need. We look forward to working closely with Homes and Community Renewal and other partners to not only rebuild what was lost in these storms, but also create stronger and more resilient New York communities.”
“As we continue our efforts to make our State better and stronger than before, we are committed to preserving and restoring our housing stock and ensuring that New Yorkers of all income levels have an appropriate place to call home,” said Interim Executive Director of the Governor's Office of Storm Recovery Lisa Bova-Hiatt. “Through this program, multiple State agencies are coming together to focus on these important issues, thereby working to generate more affordable housing resources and spur increased resiliency in New York’s storm-impacted communities.”
Within the 33 eligible counties, there will be focus on regions that include the State’s NY Rising Community Preservation Corporation areas that have developed plans to address storm recovery and resilience. Applicants must qualify for both Community Preservation Corporation construction financing and Homes and Community Renewal Small Project Affordable Rental Construction program funds. For consideration in Round 1, proposals must be received by November 2, 2015, and for consideration in Round 2, proposals must be received by December 31, 2015. The Community Preservation Corporation will inform all respondents of their status on or before January 8, 2016. The program is expected to be phased-in over a 24-month period.
Congressman Eliot Engel said, “As Governor Cuomo has said in the past, New York is now being hit by 100 year storms every couple of years. This new reality requires a strong commitment to not only rebuild what was decimated by storms like Sandy, but to improve and strengthen those structures so that they can withstand future events. I toured the areas of my district hit by Sandy and Irene, and saw firsthand the devastation those storms created and are still creating to this day. I applaud the Governor for prioritizing the needs of our affordable housing residents here in New York, and I am certain these federal funds will help make our communities more resilient and safer in the future.”
Congressman Paul Tonko said, “Extreme weather events have had a devastating impact on the most vulnerable populations in the Capital Region and across the state of New York. In Washington and Albany, we know that recovery from Irene and Lee is not complete until every last homeowner and business is back on their feet. I am pleased to see this funding going towards affordable housing, which will encourage developers to rebuild these units and give hope to families that saw their houses damaged or destroyed in these storms. I thank the Governor for responsible and efficient management of this funding, and I look forward to continuing our push to act on climate change and mitigate future negative impacts of severe weather.”
Congressman Richard Hanna said, "I am pleased to see New York State use federal disaster relief resources to invest in our communities in Broome, Chenango, Herkimer, Oneida and Tioga counties to assist with recovery housing after storms devastated our housing stock,” U.S. Rep. Richard Hanna said. “Through this funding, we can ensure that our neighborhoods will not just recover but will be stronger than before.”
Congressman Sean Patrick Maloney said, “Three years after these devastating storms hit the Hudson Valley, some residents are still recovering from the damage. This critical investment in our infrastructure will help those communities who still have unmet needs to rebuild stronger and safer than before, while creating jobs and growing our economy.”
Congressman Lee Zeldin said, “Long Island is still recovering from the storms that devastated our communities over the past few years. This funding will increase access to affordable housing on Long Island, as well as improve the overall quality of life for many residents. I am proud to partner with Governor Cuomo on this important imitative to ensure New York families have access to safe and affordable housing.”