Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced the New York State Public Authorities Control Board (PACB) has approved the borrowing that will facilitate the transfer of a loan portfolio consisting of 8,628 Mitchell-Lama housing units from New York State Empire State Development (ESD) to New York State Homes & Community Renewal (HCR), preserving affordability of a critical stock of middle-class housing, and paving the way for needed improvements to the buildings.
Governor Cuomo said, "Today we have moved forward to assure New Yorkers have access to quality homes they can afford. The transfer of this nearly 40-year old portfolio to the care of New York's main housing agency is being done responsibly and efficiently. HCR is well-equipped to manage this important asset, and can now begin the task of preserving affordability and transforming aging Mitchell-Lama units back into safe homes that will continue to serve the needs of middle-class families and communities for generations to come."
Governor Cuomo has made preserving affordable housing a priority of his administration. The transfer of the ESDC Mitchell-Lama housing portfolio to HCR is part of Governor Cuomo's $1 billion House New York program, the largest investment in affordable housing in at least 15 years, which will create and preserve more than 14,300 affordable housing units over five years in both urban and rural areas across the State. The 8,600 Mitchell-Lama units are located in 35 separate housing developments statewide.
Darryl C. Towns, Commissioner/CEO of HCR said, "I commend Governor Cuomo for proposing this initiative and for his unwavering commitment to high quality affordable housing for all New Yorkers. Under the Governor's leadership, HCR worked last fall to preserve affordability at Co-op City in the Bronx, the State's largest Mitchell-Lama development. We are ready to take on the challenge of preserving even more units for middle-income New Yorkers. I thank the Governor for this opportunity."
Ken Adams, President/CEO of ESDC said, "The transfer of ESDC's Mitchell-Lama housing portfolio fulfills a crucial component of Governor Cuomo's budget and better matches both ESD and HCR to their core missions. The Governor has committed to increasing efficiencies and making government work better for the people of New York and this realignment of resources in an important step in this ongoing effort."
New York State's Mitchell-Lama Housing Program was first proposed by State Senator MacNeil Mitchell and Assemblyman Alfred Lama and was signed into law in 1955 by Governor William Averell Harriman. Under the state's Private Housing Finance Law, the program provided for the creation of affordable housing, both rental and co-operatively owned, for middle-income residents. Developers received tax abatements and low-interest mortgages, subsidized by the federal, state, or New York City government. In total, 269 housing developments with 105,000 units were developed with State aid under the Mitchell-Lama Program.
The PACB voted unanimously to approve the transfer of the ESD Mitchell-Lama portfolio to HCR. As part of the transfer, HCR has already identified those Mitchell-Lama developments most in need of rehabilitation, an effort expected to lead to mortgage refinancings that will generate funds for capital improvements and property upgrades.
New York State Homes and Community Renewal (HCR) consists of all the State's major housing and community renewal agencies, including The Affordable Housing Corporation, The Division of Housing and Community Renewal, Housing Finance Agency, State of New York Mortgage Agency, Housing Trust Fund Corporation and others. HCR is committed to collaborating with partners, and keeping homes affordable and communities strong by managing a portfolio of more than 190,000 multifamily units and administering more than $1.5 billion each year to expand affordable housing opportunities and build strong communities throughout New York.
The Public Authorities Control Board (PACB) was created in 1976 in response to the growing amount of Public Authority Debt, and is codified in Section 50 of the NYS Public Authorities Law. The PACB is a five-member board appointed by the Governor. Four of the members must be appointed upon a single recommendation made by the temporary president of the senate, the speaker of the assembly, the minority leader of the senate and the minority leader of the assembly. The members appointed upon recommendation of the minority leaders are non-voting members. The board has the power and duty to receive applications for approval of the financing and construction of any project proposed by many of the state's public benefit corporations.