Housing Opportunity Fund
The third major component of our Fund will be $100 million for Upstate housing and community development, which is part of our proposal to create a Housing Opportunity Fund.
Our Upstate communities have a range of housing needs. Some communities need new affordable housing. Most Upstate communities, however, need funding for housing rehabilitation.
Yet, whether we’re talking about building workforce housing or rehabilitating existing housing, our investments need to be strategic. By that, I mean they must always be designed in ways that catalyze further development.
What we’ve done in Watertown is a good example of this strategy. Working with our partners in Congress and at the local level, Lieutenant Governor Paterson and I waged a successful campaign to bring a new maneuver enhancement brigade—1,500 new troops—to Fort Drum.
We won the new brigade because we were the only State to go to the Army with a comprehensive economic development package articulating the specific steps we would take to accommodate the additional soldiers. The centerpiece of that package was $10 million dollars in funding to ease the affordable housing crunch in Watertown.
Another example of a strategic housing investment can be found on the Near West Side of Syracuse, a project that has long been supported by Assemblyman Bill Magnarelli, where we are not only building low-income housing and lofts for the city’s growing community of artists; we are connecting it to the jobs, shopping, recreation, education and cultural facilities that form the building blocks of a sustainable community.
This is the kind of model we need to replicate across Upstate, which is why our Fund contains a $100 million Upstate housing commitment to provide significant new funding to meet all of these needs, and to build vibrant neighborhoods, and sustainable communities, for the next generation of New Yorkers. We estimate that our funding will result in about 10,000 units of new or rehabilitated housing for our Upstate communities.