Hinchey: Investment Will Close Housing Gap | Greene County
ALBANY — State Senator Michelle Hinchey is touting the state’s first-ever comprehensive investment in upstate and rural housing that is included in the approved state budget for 2023.
The state budget, which was signed by Governor Kathy Hochul on April 9, includes more than $236 million in funding to address the affordable housing crisis in rural and upstate areas of New York.
“Upstate is routinely left out of the conversation when it comes to housing finance assistance, and because of this inequity, we face a severe shortage that has made it nearly impossible to find a safe and affordable to live in our communities,” Hinchey said in a statement. “This year I took a stand, rallied my colleagues, and created the first-ever comprehensive plan for an investment in upstate and rural housing, and I’m proud to say we delivered on our promises.
“We have secured the largest real estate investment in Upstate New York that will significantly improve and expand our local rental housing supply and create pathways to affordable long-term homeownership. This is a big step forward in ensuring young residents, seniors and growing families have the stable and secure upstate housing they need, and we will continue to work until everyone has a home they can safely and affordably call their own.
Hinchey, D-Saugerties, helped secure housing funding that includes $36 million to give low- and middle-income families the opportunity to own homes through the Affordable Housing Corporation and $35 million to provide upstate homeowners facing foreclosure proceedings with legal services through the Homeowner Protection Program.
The state will also inject $50 million into state land banks to help convert vacant properties into affordable housing.
Kevin O’Connor, chief executive of RUPCO, the Kingston-based nonprofit housing developer that has partnered with the Hunter Foundation to develop affordable workforce housing in Tannersville, praised the efforts of Hinchey to secure funding for housing in the upstate region.
“Given the searing housing crisis we face in the Hudson River Valley, we appreciate Senator Hinchey’s strong leadership and support for affordable, rural and upstate housing initiatives,” said O’Connor said in a statement. “Sen. Hinchey has listened to the needs of his constituents and helped provide strong funding through several housing programs that will help first-time home buyers, create small rental housing developments while funding programs to help tenants and owners to go through difficult times.
“As RUPCO currently attempts to convert an old hotel into permanent supportive housing for the homeless, we appreciate Senator Hinchey’s successful advocacy to expand the Housing Our Neighbors with Dignity Act statewide. We look forward to working with Senator Hinchey to address the vast housing needs of her constituents.
The state budget also includes $5.46 million in funding for the Rural Preservation Program to help provide affordable housing and additional services for families, including legal assistance.
The housing project also includes $7 million to help create small-scale rental projects between five and 20 rental units under the Small Rental Development Initiative.