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New York’s $153B budget takes aim at homelessness, affordable housing

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The deal was brokered by Governor Andrew Cuomo on Friday

After failing to reach a consensus before the April 1 deadline this year, Governor Andrew Cuomo and state legislators finally came to an agreement Friday on a $153.1 billion budget for fiscal year 2018, the New York Times reports.

“With this Budget, New York is once again showing what responsible government can achieve,” Governor Cuomo said in a statement. “The result is a Budget that advances the core progressive principles that built New York: investing in the middle class, strengthening the economy and creating opportunity for all.”

Among the big items that are part of the budget this year are $2.5 billion in funds to combat homelessness and increasing affordable housing in the state. This will further bolster the state’s plan to create 100,000 new units of affordable housing and 6,000 units of supportive housing.

One of the biggest issues pertaining to New York City that was part of the budget was the 421-a tax break program replacement, Affordable New York. An agreement on that was finally hammered out early last week, and now this new iteration of the tax-break program is anticipated to create 2,500 new apartments every year.

The budget deal, which still needs to be officially approved by the State Assembly and Senate, has already garnered praise from several housing groups. A coalition of 11 housing groups statewide including the New York State Association for Affordable Housing issued the following statement:

“Today, the Governor, Senate, and Assembly showed true leadership in passing a state budget that made low-income New Yorkers a priority and finally allocated $2.5 billion in housing funds. The commitment made today will profoundly impact the lives of thousands of New Yorkers, including 88,000 people currently homeless throughout the state and nearly one million households paying more than half their income in rent each month.”