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Spitzer’s Budget Proposes Historic $400 Million Housing Opportunity Fund

spitzer2.jpgGovernor Spitzer proposed a $400 million Housing Opportunity Fund to improve the availability of affordable and supportive housing statewide.

“To grow and prosper together as One New York, we must ensure that our citizens have access to quality affordable housing,” said Governor Spitzer. “Attracting the growing businesses New York needs to expand economically requires that we directly address the perfect storm of unaffordability that is driving our talented workforce from their homes.”

This $400 million investment will be used to provide housing opportunities statewide for low and moderate income New Yorkers, as well as those in need of supportive services.

The program will be administered by the State of New York Mortgage Agency (SONYMA) with the assistance of an advisory panel consisting of representatives from the Division of Housing and Community Renewal (DHCR), the Office of Temporary Disability Assistance (OTDA), the Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services (OASAS), the Office of Mental Health (OMH) and the Office of Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities (OMRDD).

Of the total $400 million investment, $100 million will be dedicated to projects located upstate, as part of the Governor’s $1 billion Upstate Revitalization Fund. The remaining $300 million will be used to help provide housing opportunities in the downstate region.

This initiative will be financed entirely on a pay-as-you-go basis, with no borrowing required. SONYMA will release $100 million in excess reserves from its Mortgage Insurance Fund to finance the upstate portion of the fund. Additionally, part of the proceeds from the sale of property located at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center is expected to finance $300 million for downstate housing efforts.

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