Economic Development, Affordable Housing Get $1.6B in NY State Budget

New York State’s newly approved $121.7 billion 2008-2009 enacted budget will provide an aggregate $1.6 billion to finance economic development, including affordable housing.Of the statewide funds allotted for economic development in the budget that was just adopted by the New York State Legislature on Wednesday, $700 million will be dedicated to the Upstate Revitalization Fund. The funding will be divided among a bevy of pursuits, including the breaking of gridlock on crucial economic development projects in various cities, an endeavor that will be allotted $150 million. A sum of $30 million will be dedicated to assisting new projects and $15 million will be used to expand and upgrade arts and cultural assets. Monies targeted specifically for downstate New York include $35 million for the new Downstate Revitalization Fund, which will focus on the promotion of smart growth and business development in inner cities and distressed neighborhoods.Affordable housing is also a significant part of the economic development segment of the budget. A total of $300 million has been designated for affordable, supportive and workforce housing. The funding marks a $200 million increase over the amount that has been typically allotted for the affordable housing sector in many of the state budgets over the last seven years.Financing for the $1.6 billion economic development capital plan will be culled from the issuance of $1.5 billion in Personal Income Tax Bonds, as well as $100 million from the State of New York Mortgage Agency, and $40 million from the state’s General Fund.