Gov. Andrew Cuomo pledged a $1 billion affordable housing effort for New York in his state-of-the-state address today.  

“I have been working in the area of affordable housing all my life,” said Cuomo.  “I started when I was in my 20s. I would like to say we’ve actually completed the task, but the truth is the exact opposite. New York still has a terrible affordable housing need that has gone unaddressed for too long. New York state is going to step into the affordable housing program business big time with a $1 billion program to produce or preserve over 14,000 units over the next five years." Former Department of Housing and Urban Development secretary under President Clinton, Cuomo has proposed investing $1 billion into affordable housing by reallocating and making better use of existing funds. 

According to state officials, about 2.9 million households in the state pay more than 30 percent of their incomes for housing. There is also a shortage of 191,000 affordable units available to extremely low-income households outside of New York City, along with a 356,000-unit shortage of apartments in the city with monthly rents below $600. 

The New York State Association for Affordable Housing (NYSAFAH) applauded the announcement of the House NY program, which would be the state’s largest housing program in at least 15 years. 

“The governor’s housing plan will ensure safe and critically needed homes for low-, moderate-, and middle-income families for decades to come,” said NYSAFAH President Donald Capoccia. “Not only will New Yorkers benefit from homes they can afford, but this historic public investment in housing will leverage private resources and drive job creation to catalyze community development in underserved neighborhoods.” 

Cuomo also plans to revitalize the long-standing Mitchell-Lama program. There are 44 of these developments with more than 10,400 units. 

The Mitchell-Lama asset portfolio will be transferred from Empire State Development to New York State Homes and Community Renewal (HCR). This shift will allow HCR to refinance the projects and leverage new funding to update the units.