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Homes and Community Renewal

New York State Homes and Community Renewal Awards $1 Million Through Community Land Trust Loan Fund to Reduce Homeownership Costs for the Middle Class


Revolving Fund Provides Community Land Trusts with Loans and Grants to Purchase Property and Create Permanent Affordable Housing

January 30, 2019 - New York State Homes and Community Renewal Commissioner RuthAnne Visnauskas today announced a total of $1 million Community Land Trust Loan Fund awards that will help low- and moderate-income New Yorkers achieve the dream of homeownership, and ensure that when those owners sell, the next buyer has access to the same affordable home. The three $333,333 awards announced today are directed to three organizations that will support the activities of Community Land Trusts on Long Island, in New York City (focused on Central and East Brooklyn), and in the Capital Region and North Country.

“We want to ensure hardworking middle-class New Yorkers are able to own a home that’s affordable,” said Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul. “This funding as part of the Community Land Trust Loan Fund will reduce costs of purchasing a home for low- and moderate-income residents, and continues our efforts to retain and expand affordable housing options across the state.”

“Everyone deserves a chance to realize the dream of affordable, sustainable homeownership, and we are committed to providing that chance,” Commissioner Visnauskas said. “Putting down stakes in a neighborhood is key to building community energy, pride and economic opportunity. Our investment in Community Land Trusts is an investment in New Yorkers’ opportunity to pursue the American dream, build personal equity and better their communities makes us all stronger.”

Across the state, a growing number of Community Land Trusts from New York City to Buffalo are using a creative financing structure to lower homeownership costs. The Trusts purchase a property, and then retain ownership of the land in perpetuity while selling the house that sits on top of the land to low- and moderate-income buyers. Through this structure, the homeowner purchases the home at a lower cost since they do not have to buy the land under it and is also not responsible for paying taxes on the land. This frees up the homeowner to focus on building equity and maintaining the home.

The State’s Community Land Trust Loan Fund operates like a revolving loan fund – the repayment of loans by the land trusts to the fund enables the fund to offer more loans in the future. Loans can be made to fund the purchase of up to 25 homes. The Community Land Trust Loan Fund will be administered by Community Development Financial Institutions, which are federally designated lenders, such as banks and credit unions, who have the necessary local knowledge to manage the program.

The $1 million in awards announced today are expected to help Community Land Trusts assist an estimated 43 homes:

The Land Trust Loan Fund is part of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo’s commitment to provide all New Yorkers with access to safe, affordable housing through his unprecedented $20 billion, five-year plan to create or preserve more than 100,000 affordable homes and 6,000 with supportive services. The plan is a comprehensive approach to statewide housing issues and includes multifamily and single-family housing, community development, and rent stabilization.

Loan Fund financing can be used to acquire properties; pay for appraisals, legal analysis and other steps that enable the Community Land Trust to acquire and/or improve residential units; rehabilitate and/or refinance existing homes; and provide down payment assistance for purchasers.

Peter Elkowitz, President and CEO, Long Island Housing Partnership, said, “We are so pleased that New York State Homes and Community Renewal is investing in the growth of Community Land Trusts. With this award, we can break down the barriers to homeownership for low- and moderate-income New Yorkers living on Long Island while also contributing to the economic growth of the entire region.”

Linda MacFarlane, Executive Director, Community Loan Fund of the Capital Region, said, “Thank you to New York State Homes and Community Renewal for supporting affordable homeownership in the Capital and North County regions with this award. All New Yorkers deserve the opportunity to put down roots and contribute to the communities they call home. By rehabilitating homes in need of repair and supporting first-time homeownership, we can inspire additional investment in our neighborhoods.”

Andrew Reicher, Executive Director, UHAB, said, “Community Land Trusts build stronger neighborhoods by providing New Yorkers opportunities for affordable homeownership that stays affordable for the long term. We look forward to the rollout of this program and seeing the benefits it brings to New York City. We are grateful to Homes and Community Renewal for their support.”

About New York State Homes and Community Renewal

New York State Homes and Community Renewal (HCR) works to create, preserve and improve affordable homes, and to develop vibrant communities. HCR is executing Governor Andrew M. Cuomo’s unprecedented $20 billion, five-year Housing Plan, which is making housing accessible and combating homelessness by building and preserving more than 100,000 units of affordable housing and 6,000 supportive apartments. The plan is a comprehensive approach to statewide housing issues, and includes investing in multifamily and single-family housing, furthering community development strategies, and preserving rent stabilization. For more information on HCR, its programs and its initiatives, please visit: www.nyshcr.org/ or follow us on Twitter @NYSHCR.

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