SAUGERTIES, NY — A state senator from Saugerties says she has secured more than $260 million in funding aimed at helping ease the housing crisis.

Sen. Michelle Hinchey, D-Saugerties, said Thursday that as part of the state’s 2023 budget, money is to be directed to housing programs and initiatives for rural and other upstate areas. from New York.

“This is the state’s first-ever comprehensive investment in upstate and rural housing — the likes of which have not been included in any previous budget or capital plan — and will be used to build more affordable, long-term housing for rent and ownership,” the Hinchey office said in a news release.

“Upstate is routinely left out of the conversation when it comes to housing finance assistance, and because of this inequity, we face a severe shortage that has made it nearly impossible to find a safe and affordable to live in our communities,” Hinchey said in The Release. “This year I took a stand, rallied my colleagues, and created the first-ever comprehensive plan for upstate and rural housing investment, and I’m proud to say we delivered on our promises.”

“We have secured the largest investment in housing in Upstate New York, which will significantly improve and expand our local rental housing supply and create pathways to homeownership that remain affordable long into the future. term,” Hinchey added.

The housing investment will be used as follows:

To help with affordable home ownership

* $36 million to create homeownership opportunities for low- and middle-income families through the Affordable Housing Corporation.
$50 million to support the work of New York State’s land banks, including turning vacant properties into affordable housing.

* $35 million to provide landlords facing foreclosure with legal services through the Landlord Protection Program.

* $3.4 million to help low-income senior homeowners and people with disabilities with the costs of emergency home repairs and code violations through RESTORE/ACCESS to Home programs.

* $5.46 million to provide affordable housing and services for families, including accessibility modifications and legal assistance through the Rural Preservation Program.

To help with the supply of rental units

* $100 million to turn old hotels and motels into affordable rental housing through the Housing our Neighbors with Dignity Act. This funding was previously only available in New York State, but has been expanded statewide.

* $7 million to create small-scale rental developments between 5 and 20 units through the Small Rental Development Initiative.

Housing advocates, including Christine Brady LaValle, executive director of Ulster County Habitat for Humanity, said the funding will go a long way.

“Ulster Habitat is extremely grateful to Senator Hinchey for advocating for the successful increase in funding for the Affordable Housing Corporation,” LaValle said. “This funding is essential to the work of Ulster Habitat, as well as the work of Habitat affiliates across the state, to help secure the opportunity for homeownership for the local workforce in our communities.”

Mike Gilliard, executive director of the Kingston City Land Bank, agreed.

“These funds come at an unprecedented and critical time for current and future generations of New York families,” he said.

Kevin O’Connor, managing director of affordable housing provider RUPCO, said “Given the burning housing crisis we face in the Hudson River Valley, we appreciate Senator Hinchey’s strong leadership and support. Affordable, Rural and Upstate Housing Initiatives“.

“As RUPCO currently attempts to convert an old hotel into permanent supportive housing for the homeless, we appreciate Senator Hinchey’s successful advocacy to extend the Housing Act to our neighbors with dignity across the state” , O’Connor said.