Governors Push Broad Affordable Housing Plans

Written by Christianity and the Confusion on January 19th, 2008

BY J. Mijin Cha

In his State of the State address, New York Governor Eliot Spitzer proposed a $400 million Housing Opportunity Fund to increase affordable housing around the state for working families and people with special needs. The Governor called it “the biggest housing initiative in a generation.” Funding for affordable housing in New York has not increased for over a decade, even though the cost of housing has increased. The governor's proposed fund would triple the amount normally allocated for affordable housing and would be funded through the state's Mortgage Insurance Fund and proceeds from the state's mortgage tax.

Other governors are also pushing affordable housing initiatives. In New Jersey, Governor Corzine is sticking to his campaign promise of creating and preserving 100,000 affordable housing units in the next 10 years. Corzine has introduced proposals to provide an additional 1,500 families with access to affordable housing through an increase in the New Jersey State Rental Assistance Program and funding for a one-time capital expenditures to renovate, improve and expand bed capacity for shelters.

Vermont Governor James Douglas in his State of the State address proposed implementing new programs to boost affordable housing by making it easier to have new homes permitted and give tax incentives to first time homeowners who want to reinvest in redevelopment of the upper-floor space in commercial/office buildings in urban centers. Governor Jodi Rell announced an additional $10 million to support Connecticut's new Housing Trust Fund, which was signed into law in 2005 and is designed to create housing for low and moderate income families by providing loans and grants.

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