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Legislature Urges State Law Change to Permit Counties to Appropriate Funds for Affordable Housing

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Legislature Urges State Law Change to Permit Counties to Appropriate Funds for Affordable Housing

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

The Legislature, by unanimous vote, urged the State Legislature to amend Section 224 of New York State County Law to permit counties to appropriate funds towards the development, maintenance, or management of affordable housing. Initial research by the Department of Planning and Sustainability regarding potential next steps to implement the County’s Housing Strategy brought to light a potentially critical impediment—that New York State County Law does not expressly permit counties to appropriate funds for the purpose of affordable housing, although it identifies 28 other purposes whereby counties may appropriate funds and enter into contracts to promote public benefit services. Counties are permitted to spend federal and state funds for such purposes but have no mechanism under current County Law to assist in such development.

The resolution notes that “without the authority to spend local resources on affordable housing, counties in the state of New York are facing a crisis in affordable housing development, as Federal and State funding for this urgent and critical need may be significantly cut in the near future.”