City Council Designates Funding to Support Housing Initiatives
New York City Council Speaker Corey Johnson and Council Housing and Buildings Committee Chair Robert Cornegy recently announced that the City Council has designated funding in the Fiscal Year 2021 budget for several programs to provide relief to both renters and homeowners dealing with the financial impacts of COVID-19.
Specifically, the FY 2021 budget includes more than $12 million to fund programs for renters and homeowners, including more than $3.1 million for housing preservation initiatives, more than $3.2 million for foreclosure prevention programs, and over $2.5 million for Stabilizing NYC, an initiative put in place to combat the loss of low-income housing at the hands of predatory equity companies.
Among the initiatives that the City Council funds are:
Housing Court Answers. The City Council designated $650,000 to support anti-eviction education and referral services at the city’s housing courts. The initiative offers counseling and connects tenants and small landlords seeking assistance to legal services in housing court.
Stabilizing NYC. This initiative focuses on defending low-income tenants from harassment and eviction in buildings owned by private companies that engage in predatory equity.
Community Housing Preservation Strategies. This program supports 50 organizations that work in areas that include tenant organizing, housing court assistance, code enforcement advocacy, apartment repossession, and additional housing public education campaigns.
Foreclosure Prevention Programs. This Council initiative provides funding to the Neighborhood Restore Housing Development Fund and the Center for New York City Neighborhoods for foreclosure prevention programs.
Community Land Trust Initiative. The City Council designated $637,500 to support community-based organizations that work on a neighborhood level to develop and expand the community land trust model citywide, a model that focuses on preserving low-income housing through nonprofit ownership of the land.
Home Loan Program. The City Council designated $1.7 million for emergency Home Loan repairs. Of this amount, $850,000 will support the Home Emergency Loan Program, known as Project HELP, which is administered by HPD and the Housing Services Organizations (NHS). The program offers direct, low-interest home improvement loans to property owners of one- to four-family homes. Loans can be used for emergency repairs, such as roofs leaks, water main breaks, and heating system repairs.