Advocates Nervous About State Housing Plan As Albany Session Nears End

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Speaker Heastie, Gov. Cuomo and Majority Leader Flanagan's signatures are needed before the state's huge housing program can begin.

Office of the Governor

Speaker Heastie, Gov. Cuomo and Majority Leader Flanagan's signatures are needed before the state's huge housing program can begin.

Housing advocates couldn’t be happier that the state budget passed last month includes an unprecedented amount of money for a 100,000-unit statewide affordable housing plan. Check that. They’d be considerably happier if the governor and legislative leaders signed an agreement on how to spend the money before the legislative session ends on June 16.

Little was specified about how the $2 billion allocated in the budget would be used, so Governor Cuomo, Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan and Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie have to ink a memorandum of understanding to get the dollars flowing.

Nearly 100 groups have signed on to the push to get an MOU signed. Organizers are worried that if an MOU isn’t signed before legislators head home for the summer, it could be left until the end of the calendar year.

The MOU is hardly the only outstanding housing-policy issue in Albany this spring. The 421-a tax break, which the de Blasio administration says is crucial to its own affordable-housing plans, remains in a gubernatorially induced coma. While the MOU and 421-a are not directly linked, it might raise hackles if the legislature dealt with the former (which benefits New York City) but not the latter (which has statewide potential).

Asked about the status of the MOU, a spokesman for Heastie told City Limits: “We are still discussing the MOU and want to ensure affordable housing is addressed.” Richard Azzopardi, spokesman for the governor, said in a statement: “We are actively engaged with the Legislature to get this funding out the door and into affordable housing programs as soon as possible, because every New Yorker deserves a safe, affordable and decent place to call home.”

The following groups have signed on to a campaign to get action from the three men in a room:

334 East 92nd Street Tenant Association
Addicts Rehabilitation Center Foundation, Inc
AARP New York
Aguitektura
ANHD
Asian Americans for Equality
Association for Energy Affordability
Banana Kelly Community Improvement Association, Inc
Barrier Free Living
Bellwether Enterprise Real Estate Capital
Breaking Ground
Bright Power
CAMBA
Carroll Gardens Association
Center for NYC Neighborhoods
Central Islip Civic Council, Inc
Christopher Community Inc
Coalition for the Homeless
CohnReznick
Community League of the Heights, Inc
Concern for Independent Living
CSH
Crow Hill Community Association
Community Service Society
Curtis+Ginsberg
Engel & Partners Inc
Enterprise Community Partners
Fifth Avenue Committee
First Sterling Financial
Foxy Management
Galli Engineering, PC
Gateway Housing
Grand St. Settlement
Greater Rochester Housing Partnership
Greater Sheepshead Bay Development Corporation
Habitat for Humanity New York City
HANAC
HAP Investments
Housing & Community Development Consulting
Housing and Family Services of Greater New York
Hudson Housing Capital
Interfaith Assembly on Homelessness and Housing
Ithaca Neighborhood Housing Services
JCTOD Outreach, Inc
Keuka Housing Council, Inc
KeyBank
Kimmel Housing Development Foundation
LDC of Crown Heights, Inc
LISC New York City
LiveOn NY
Lott Community Development Corporation
Low Income Investment Fund
Margert Community Corporation
Mega Contracting Group LLC
Morrisania Revitalization Corporation, Inc
Near Westside Neighborhood Assoc, Inc.
Neighbors Helping Neighbors
Neighborhood Housing Services of NYC
Neighborhood Preservation Coalition
Neighborhood Restore HDFC
New York City Housing Authority
New Destiny Housing Corporation
NFW Group
Nixon Peabody LLP
Northfield Community LDC
OCV Architects
Omni Housing Development LLC
Popular Community Bank
Project Urbanista, LLC
Property Resources Corporation
Regional Aid for Interim Needs, Inc
Regional Plan Association
Restored Homes HDFC
Restoring Communities HDFC
Ridgewood Bushwick Senior Citizens Council, Inc
Rockabill Advisors
Rockaway Wildfire
Rural Housing Opportunities Corp
Samaritan Village
Selfhelp Community Services
Settlement Housing Fund
SHNNY
Single Stop
SKA Marin
Sterling National Bank
St. Nick’s Alliance
TAP, Inc
The Arker Companies
The Community Preservation Corporation
The Wavecrest Management Team, Ltd
United Tenants of Albany
Urban Architectural Initiatives
Urban Pathways
Urban Quotient
Vecino Group
West Harlem Group Assistance, Inc
Westchester Disabled On the Move Inc
Women’s City Club of New York