Twenty-four landbanks in New York will receive nearly $26 million in funding in order to address blight and expand housing in the state, Gov. Kathy Hochul on Friday announced.
The money, part of the broader $229 billion state budget, is meant to address a constrained supply of housing in New York as well as ongoing concerns over affordability.
"New York's Land Bank Initiative has already allowed us to preserve, restore, and revitalize rundown properties across the state, and we are excited to be extending the opportunity this year," Hochul said. "This program will empower local nonprofits - the people that know their communities best - to help increase homeownership while repairing the fabric of their neighborhoods."
Hochul did not get much of what she had initially proposed this year to expand housing in her budget proposal as she sought to significantly expand housing by 800,000 units over the next 10 years. Lawmakers are still mulling some housing measures before the legislative session concludes next week.
Officials hope the awards under the landbank plan will be part of a larger effort to create or preserve 100,000 affordable homes in New York.
New York's land banks were created in 2012. They act as public authorities that can acquire, assemble and aid in the building of blighted and abandoned properties.
"This $26 million investment will allow local organizations to invest in their communities by turning blight into opportunity that encourages redevelopment and boosts the tax base for the benefit of all," New York State Homes and Community Renewal Commissioner RuthAnne Visnauskas said. "These awards build upon the $15 million in operating funds that we awarded to land banks last year. The Governor's Land Bank Initiative recognizes that art of creating and preserving affordable communities is never a one-size-fits-all process, but requires step-by-step dedication to building healthier, safer, more livable, and affordable neighborhoods."