February 21, 2018
Albany, NY

Governor Cuomo Announces $400,000 Award to Rehabilitate Vacant Single-Family Homes in the City of Syracuse

TOP Governor Cuomo Announces $400,000 Award to...

Syracuse Vacant Rehabilitation Program Will Renovate Ten Homes For Purchase By Low-Income Families

Investment Complements "Central NY Rising" - The Region's Comprehensive Strategy to Revitalize Communities and Grow the Economy

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Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced a $400,000 award to the City of Syracuse for the acquisition and rehabilitation of approximately 10 vacant homes in the greater Syracuse area. The funds, awarded through New York State Homes and Community Renewal's Affordable Home Ownership Development Program, are part of the Governor's unprecedented $20 billion, five-year Housing Plan, which is set to build and preserve 112,000 affordable homes across the state.

"Homeownership is the backbone of our economy and it has unfortunately become increasingly difficult for many hardworking families to achieve and maintain the American Dream," Governor Cuomo said. "It is a top priority for this administration to make homeownership attainable for all New Yorkers and to create stronger, more prosperous communities in every corner of this great state." 

With this award the Syracuse Vacant Rehabilitation Program will have the ability to renovate 10 blighted and vacant single-family homes on scattered sites throughout the City of Syracuse with help from the Greater Syracuse Property Development Corporation to rehabilitate the homes. Rehab work will focus on bringing the homes up to code compliance, including structural and foundation, electrical, roof, window, and door repair, as well as lead removal. Upon completion, the homes will be available for purchase to homebuyers earning no more than 112 percent of HUD's Low Income Limits, adjusted for family size, for Onondaga County. Homebuyers will be required to provide an average down payment of $6,000 and seek a conventional mortgage for the remaining balance.

The funding announced today will provide up to $40,000 in Affordable Home Ownership Development Program funds per home. The AHODP funds up to $40,000 per home to eligible municipalities, municipal housing authorities, and other not-for-profit and charitable organizations that develop affordable housing or assist homeowners in funding necessary repairs. Awards can be used to make improvements to existing owner-occupied single or multi-family homes, condominiums, or cooperatives; acquire and rehabilitate owner-occupied homes for sale, including single and multi-family homes, condominiums, or cooperatives; and construct new owner-occupied homes for sale, including single and multi-family homes, condominiums, or cooperatives including dilapidated and manufactured homes. Since 2011, more than 10,500 homes have been created or made safer and more affordable with approximately $203 million in AHODP awards.

In addition to AHODP funds, the City of Syracuse is providing up to $300,000 in Community Housing Development Organization HOME Entitlement funds and $100,000 in Community Development Block Grant Entitlement funds for the program. Over the past five years, the City of Syracuse has funded over 200 rehabilitation projects representing an investment of over $35 million.

Homes and Community Renewal Commissioner RuthAnne Visnauskas said, "HCR is proud to make the Governor's vision of affordable homeownership a reality for families in the City of Syracuse. By transforming these vacant and blighted properties into safe homes for working families, we are restoring hope and opportunity to underserved communities. We look forward to continuing the Governor's investment in Syracuse and keeping Central NY Rising."

Senator David J. Valesky said, "For many hardworking families, the high cost of home ownership is out of reach. Congratulations to the city of Syracuse on this award that will help lower-income families buy safe, affordable homes." 

Assemblymember William Magnarelli said, "The City of Syracuse will benefit from an award that allows for acquisition and rehabilitation of vacant homes. This award allows the City to continue to help low-income families experience homeownership, which in turn strengthens our community, reinvigorates our neighborhoods and increases our city's tax base."

Assemblymember Pamela Hunter said, "Improving individual homes will go a long way for revitalization efforts and the reduction of blight in the City of Syracuse. Having a newly renovated home can be incredibly empowering for a low-income family. Making these homes affordable and desirable turns vacant buildings from neighborhood liabilities to neighborhood assets. With projects such as this, quality of life will improve and families will realize economic mobility." 

Onondaga County Executive Joanie Mahoney said, "We are grateful that Governor Cuomo is seizing the opportunity to turn vacant homes in our communities into opportunities for our hardworking neighbors to realize the dream of homeownership. The funding announced today will not only help solve the problem of blight but also create an opportunity for CNY. Thank you to the Governor, HCR and the City of Syracuse for keeping Central New York Rising."

Syracuse Mayor Ben Walsh said, "With these funds, we can start to change neighborhoods. We will target the renovation and sale of vacant, distressed property now owned by the Land Bank and put them into the hands of first-time, income qualified homebuyers. These properties will trigger more investment in the neighborhoods where they are located, which help build the wealth of the new owners, and increase the value of surrounding properties." 

Accelerating Central NY Rising 

Today's announcement complements "Central NY Rising," the region's comprehensive blueprint to generate robust economic growth and community development. The state has already invested more than $4.7 billion in the region since 2012 to lay the groundwork for the plan - capitalizing on global market opportunities, strengthening entrepreneurship and creating an inclusive economy. Today, unemployment is down to the lowest levels since before the Great Recession; personal and corporate income taxes are down; and businesses are choosing places like Syracuse, Oswego, and Auburn as a destination to grow and invest in.

Now, the region is accelerating Central NY Rising with a $500 million state investment through the Upstate Revitalization Initiative, announced by Governor Cuomo in December 2015. The state's $500 million investment will incentivize private business to invest well over $2.5 billion - and the region's plan, as submitted, projects up to 5,900 new jobs. More information is available here.

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