Newburgh targeted in state pilot program to transform vacant homes

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Schneiderman: “helping people stay in their homes”

NEWBURGH – State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman announced a
new program in Newburgh on Friday to provide New York State land banks
like that in Newburgh with a total of $4 million in housing subsidies.

The funds for everyday New Yorkers would afford them the opportunity to
take over individual, abandoned properties in their neighborhood, at little
or no costs, rehab them and turn them specifically into rental units.

“We are helping people stay in their homes,” Schneiderman
said, of the Neighbors for Neighborhoods Program. “We are helping
communities to rebuild.”

Standing in front of two of the Landers Street properties that will be
part of the program, the attorney general said the initiative was inspired
by successful efforts such as 13 Chambers Street in Newburgh. That property
was acquired by the Newburgh Community Land Bank in 2013. It was renovated
by a local architect and now provides three families with affordable rental
housing.

“We have a very, very strong sense of community in New York,”
Schneiderman said. “People care about their neighborhoods. People
care about the house across the street, the back yard that’s not
being kept up next door, and that is combined with entrepreneurial spirit
of any state in the country.”

Newburgh Mayor Judy Kennedy thanked Schneiderman for his continued help
to cities, including Newburgh. The mayor also noted other key partners.

“The other partner that we have here today is the Land Bank, and
it’s just been a really great partnership as we move forward,”
Kennedy said.

By stipulation, the estimated 100 new rental housing units to be created
in Newburgh must remain affordable for at least 20 years.

Funding will come from the attorney general’s 2014 and 2015 settlements
with Citigroup and Bank of America over the banks’ conduct leading
up to the 2008 housing crash.