U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand today introduced legislation to expand access to affordable housing for New York families who lost their homes to Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee by expanding the low-income housing tax credit, legislation that provides tax incentives for developers to build new rental housing units in communities impacted by natural disasters.
Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee caused widespread flooding across New York, particularly in areas within and around New York City, in addition to flooding that devastated areas in upstate New York -- from the Southern Tier, to the North Country, the Capital Region and the Hudson Valley.
"New Yorkers were among the hardest hit by Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee. And to this day, too many families who lost their homes still need a solid roof over their head," Senator Gillibrand said. "America has always stood by those who are suffering and helped them to rebuild. We need to continue to stand by New York's struggling families today with access to affordable housing so they can get back on stable ground, and continue rebuilding their lives."
The low-income housing tax credit is allocated to states on a population basis and used to support private development of affordable housing. The credit was previously expanded in 2005 as part of legislation passed in the wake of Hurricane Katrina in to encourage the development of affordable housing for families along the Gulf Coast. Similar assistance was authorized in 2008 for areas in the Midwest suffering from extreme flooding. Now, Senator Gillibrand is working to expand the credit again to help rebuild affordable housing in areas of New York and other states impacted by Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee.
Tax credits are allocated to developers to help lower financing costs for new home development. By lowering those costs, savings can be passed onto families and individuals in need of a new home with more affordable rent. The additional tax credit would be allocated by the state within areas affected by the disaster.