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NEW YORK CITY-Gov. David Paterson has provided $25.5 million in grants and financing to build and renovate 396 units of affordable housing in New York State. The grants were allocated to neighborhoods in New York City and Western New York.

The grants were approved by the boards of the New York State Housing Finance Agency and its subsidiary, the New York State Affordable Housing Corp., which make grants to not-for-profit housing organizations around the state to help subsidize the cost of newly constructed homes and the renovation of existing housing. Gov. Paterson says in a prepared statement that his administration is dedicated to improving both existing housing stock and building new affordable housing.

“These grants also include $2 million for a new program to help buy and renovate foreclosed homes in New York City, which will help stabilize neighborhoods and keep communities strong,” he says. The projects in New York City include: HFA approved $18 million in financing to rehabilitate the 125-unit Caroline Apartments, a Section 8 apartment building in the Inwood section of Manhattan; and AHC approved four grant for the Housing Partnership Development Corp.

The four AHC grants include: a $2 million grant to fund the Neighborhood Stabilization Initiative, which will buy and renovate up to 50 foreclosed homes to help neighborhoods at risk due to an increase in foreclosures; a $1.6 million grant to build 53 condominium units in the Melrose section of the Bronx; a $720,000 grant to build 18 units in six three-family homes in the Bushwick section of Brooklyn; and a $2.6 million grant to build 87 co-op units in a 13-story, mixed-use building in East Harlem in Manhattan.

In Western New York, AHC approved two grants to renovate existing homes, which include: a $225,000 grant to Fillmore-Leroy Area Residents Inc. to renovate 23 homes in the City of Buffalo; and a $300,000 grant to NeighborWorks Home Resources to renovate 40 homes in Cattaraugus, Wyoming and southern Erie counties.

Priscilla Almodovar, president and CEO of HFA and AHC, says in a prepared statement that “these approvals demonstrate our commitment to be responsive to the different housing needs throughout the state. Whether it’s building new homes or upgrading existing ones, HFA creates housing opportunities for low- and moderate-income New Yorkers.”

Assemblyman Vito Lopez, chair of the Assembly Housing Committee, says in a prepared statement that the value of this program provides affordable housing for those who need it, while it also protects neighborhoods for the current homeowners. “Safe, modernized homes provide a strong foundation from which a neighborhood can thrive, and thriving neighborhoods are what New York City needs right now.”

Sen. John Bonacic, chair of the Senate Housing Committee, says that the need for affordable housing in New York is insatiable. “Investing in affordable housing is in the best interest of all New Yorkers. We need diverse and stable communities and renovating existing housing stock and building new housing will help to meet that need.”

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