New state legislature presents opportunities for affordable housing
Jolie Milstein, Thu, Nov 15th, 2018 3:33:03 am

New York State is now solidly controlled by the Democratic Party. In addition to maintaining control of the State Executive Branch and the State Assembly, Democrats now have a majority in the Senate for the first time in years after picking up several seats across the state in last week's elections.

These new political dynamics will have significant impacts on critical issues facing New Yorkers – particularly on affordable housing. READ FULL ARTICLE HERE.

New Coalition of Affordable Housing Industry Leaders, Tenant Advocates and Labor Calls for Crucial Reforms to State Rent Laws
Rent Reform Coalition, Wed, Nov 14th, 2018 5:21:13 am

"As we continue maximizing the production of affordable homes to address New York's statewide housing crisis, NYSAFAH recognizes the crucial importance of strengthening our state's rent laws to help protect the millions of New Yorkers already living in rent-stabilized housing," said Jolie Milstein, president and CEO of the New York State Association for Affordable Housing (NYSAFAH). "We will work with stakeholders to urge the State Legislature to take greater action on affordable housing across the board – and that means building more new affordable housing while also expanding efforts to preserve the units we have now." FULL PRESS RELEASE HERE

Affordable housing developers teaming with low-income tenant activists to push for rent regulation reforms
Kenneth Lovett, Wed, Nov 14th, 2018 5:16:10 am

ALBANY — A group representing affordable housing developers is teaming up with low-income tenant activists for the first time to push for rent regulation reforms.

The New York State Association for Affordable Housing — along with groups that include the Legal Aid Society, VOCAL New York, Enterprise Community Partners, AARP, the Coalition for the Homeless, and the New York Housing Conference — sent letters to state leaders urging specific pro-tenant changes when the rent laws expire in June. FULL ARTICLE HERE.

Election Day Recap - New York State Edition
James Walsh, Wed, Nov 7th, 2018 8:26:34 am

While some Elections Day results are not yet final, due to a few close races, we know that New York State government will be Democrat-controlled for the first time in nearly a decade, with Democrats winning all of the statewide races (Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Comptroller and Attorney General) and capturing the Senate Majority which had been the last bastion of Republican power in state government.

Governor Andrew Cuomo, Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul, and State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli all handily defeated their Republican challengers to win re-election, while current New York City Public Advocate Letitia James defeated her rival to win the Attorney General's race.

In the State Senate, Democrats captured several seats held by Republicans on Long Island and the lower Hudson Valley and will begin the 2019 legislative session with an anticipated majority of 40 members, compared to 23 members for the Republicans. The Senate Democrats are expected to elevate their leader, Senator Andrea Stewart-Cousins (D-Yonkers), to the Majority Leader post, while it is likely that Senator John Flanagan (R-East Northport), the current Majority Leader, will assume the role of Minority Leader. There will be 17 new Senators, including 15 Democrats and 2 Republicans. Also, along with the new majority, we will see a new chair of the Senate Housing Committee, to replace current Chairperson Senator Betty Little (R-Queensbury) who has been a true champion for affordable housing across New York State over the past several years. We will advise of the new chairperson when that person is named, likely in early January.

In the State Assembly, the Republican Minority won four Democratic seats, but also lost two Republican seats and therefore are in line to have a net increase of two seats, highlighting the unpredictability of our current elections. All told, there will be 21 new Assemblymembers, including 12 Democrats and 9 Republicans. While it is an overall modest gain for Republicans, the Democrats, led by Speaker Carl Heastie (D-Bronx), will continue to have a formidable majority in 2019 of 107 members compared to 43 Republicans. Although we expect (and hope) that Assemblymember Steven Cymbrowitz (D-Brooklyn) will remain as the Chair of the Assembly Housing Committee, there are sometimes adjustments in the chairs and committee membership with the start of each new two-year legislative session. We will alert you if there are notable changes in the committee.

With Democrats in control of the Governor's Office and the Legislature, it is likely that legislative initiatives that were stalled in the Republican Senate will receive new momentum, including prevailing wage legislation, changes to NYC rent regulations and others unrelated to affordable housing such as single payer health program, the child victims act, and the reproductive health act. Proposals relevant to the affordable housing industry will have to be explored and we will be better able to identify some of those initiatives in the weeks to come.

Getting To the Real Story Behind New York's Affordable Housing Crisis
Jolie Milstein, Thu, Oct 4th, 2018 7:33:28 am

New York's affordable housing crisis is often discussed, analyzed and scrutinized through the lens of hard numbers and data.

How many units are in a new development? What are the income restrictions? How much does it cost? How is it being financed?

These questions are often vital to advancing our efforts – but they do not provide the whole picture of what affordable housing development is and what it means to residents. MORE...

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