The state on Thursday launched the Pro-Housing Communities Program, a statewide initiative to give priority consideration for up to $650 million in state discretionary funds to localities committed to housing growth. The program, announced by Governor Kathy Hochul earlier this summer as part of a package of executive actions to promote housing growth, invites municipalities (cities, towns, and villages) to apply for Pro-Housing Community certification. Certified Pro-Housing Communities will receive priority over other localities in their applications for certain discretionary funds, including $650 million in State grant programs like the Downtown Revitalization Initiative that were included in the FY24 Budget. Applications for the new program are now open.
To be designated a Pro-Housing Community, municipalities must provide key information about their local zoning map/code and information detailing local housing permit approvals over the past five years.
Localities who submit documentation that their housing stock has increased by one percent in the previous year or 3 percent over the previous three years (downstate) or by 0.33 percent in the last year or 1 percent over the previous three years (upstate) will qualify for the certification. Communities that have not yet seen housing growth can also achieve Pro-Housing Community designation by passing a resolution stating their commitment to Pro-Housing principles.
“Communities willing to help us solve the housing crisis should be first in line for State discretionary funding,” Governor Hochul said. “Increasing the housing supply in New York is critical, and I’m using every tool a governor has at her disposal to make an impact. I look forward to visiting Certified Pro-Housing communities across New York to celebrate their accomplishments in the months to come.”
The New York State Division of Housing and Community Renewal will review program applications on a rolling basis and provide approval or denial within 90 days of submission. Those receiving certification must resubmit their housing permit data and any updates to their zoning on an annual basis to remain certified and qualify for prioritization.
Certified Pro-Housing Communities will be considered first among localities applying for:
- The Downtown Revitalization Initiative (DRI)
- The NY Forward program
- The Regional Council Capital Fund
- Capital projects from the Market New York program
- The New York Main Street program
- The Long Island Investment Fund (LIIF)
- The Mid-Hudson Momentum Fund
- The Public Transportation Modernization Enhancement Program (MEP).
- Any other funding where future appropriation language designates it as a Pro-Housing Community program.