OUR INITIATIVES

BUDGET AND LEGISLATIVE ADVOCACY

NYSAFAH advocates for increased capital funding and more at both the city and state levels during their respective legislative sessions in order to increase affordable housing production. The organization also advocates for legislation that will enable increased affordable production, streamline the programs used to finance affordable housing, and the elimination of zoning and land use barriers to new construction.

INSURANCE

Affordable housing developments face discrimination in the insurance marketplace, which drives up costs for owners and makes it harder for housing agencies to fund affordable housing – NYSAFAH is currently working to pass state legislation to prohibit discrimination. NYSAFAH is also engaged in advocacy to amend the Scaffold Law, which makes building owners absolutely liable for workplace injuries regardless of the circumstances. This antiquated law, which exists in only two states, increases construction costs by 10% dramatically decreasing affordable production.

LAND USE

New York State’s housing crisis has steadily worsened, with recent research showing that New York State needs to produce and preserve more than 800,000 housing units over the next decade.  This shortage is largely due to restrictive zoning that makes it highly challenging to build multifamily housing throughout most of the state.  NYSAFAH advocates for sensible, statewide land use reform so that more affordable housing can be built in high-opportunity areas.

IMPROVING THE LOW INCOME HOUSING TAX CREDIT

The Low Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) program is the driver of affordable housing production across the nation. The Affordable Housing Credit Improvement Act, introduced in several budget sessions in Washington, would vastly improve the 1996 LIHTC act by eliminating the 50% test and expand and strengthen the credit. NYSAFAH members work in coalition with several national organizations to advocate for the credit and increased bond cap.

The bill increases the per capita dollar amount of the credit and its minimum ceiling amount and extends the inflation adjustment for such amounts.

The bill modifies tenant income eligibility requirements and the average income formula for determining such income. It also revises rules for student occupancy of rental units and tenant voucher payments, and prohibits any refusal to rent to victims of domestic abuse.

The bill further modifies the credit to:

  • increase state allocations of the credit;
  • repeal the qualified census tract population cap;
  • prohibit consideration of local approval and local government contribution requirements for housing projects;
  • increase the credit for certain projects designated to serve extremely low-income households;
  • increase the credit for certain bond-financed projects designated by state agencies;
  • eliminate the basis reduction for properties that receive certain energy-related tax benefits; and
  • increase the population cap for difficult development areas (i.e., areas with high construction, land, and utility costs relative to area median gross income).

2024 STATE PRIORITIES

Each year NYSAFAH crafts a new set of budget and legislative priorities that which are presented to state legislators and coalition members for consideration during the budget and legislative session. Staff and members visit legislators and their staff in both their district and legislative offices to advance these measures. We work in concert with the Governor’s office and the Mayor’s office with our retained city and state lobbyists to continually and consistently push the annual priorities that are determined by our board and membership.