Albany, NY (May 2007) - Rents are higher than ever. The cost of housing has outpaced wages. Yet now people who care about affordable housing have something to cheer about. Hailed as an innovative model inter-municipal cooperation and sound regional planning, the newly created Albany County Housing Trust Fund will begin investing dollars this year in affordable housing efforts throughout the County.
A coalition of organizations including the Affordable Housing Partnership, financial institutions, municipal leaders, private citizens and others have been working over the past year to create a local housing trust fund. Housing trust funds are permanently dedicated sources of revenue used to support the preservation and production of affordable housing. Approximately 600 housing trust funds have been established across the country by city, county or state governments.
Responding to a proposal by County Executive Michael Breslin and Deputy County Executive Joseph Pennisi, the County of Albany Legislature unanimously appropriated $300,000 to help seed an Albany County Housing Trust Fund. At a breakfast forum on May 24th 2007, municipal leaders, planning officials, housing advocates and others gathered at the Government Law Center of the Albany Law School to discuss affordable housing needs in our community and to welcome the release a 2007 Notice of Funding Availability (NFOA).
Housing Trust Fund dollars will be awarded through a competitive proposal process to support the preservation and production of affordable housing throughout Albany County. Municipalities, housing authorities, nonprofit organizations and private for-profit developers may apply. Funding priorities include the creation of new and the preservation of existing affordable housing units. The Fund hopes to finance a range of activities, foster innovation, and encourage both large and small projects. Lasting impact, cost effective investments and preservation of affordability are primary considerations.
An informational meeting for NOFA applicants will be held on June 12th 2007, 9:00 AM at 112 State Street, 1st Floor Cahill Room, Albany. Applications are due before 4:30 PM on July 12th 2007.
A Task Force has been meeting since early 2006 to develop the Albany County Housing Trust Fund. The Task Force is open to the public and provides oversight of the project. The Task Force’s next meeting is scheduled for June 14th, 10:30 AM at 255 Orange Street, 2nd Floor Conference Room, Albany. The Task Force has appointed a Screening Committee to score applications and make funding recommendations to the County of Albany for the 2007 funding round.
The Affordable Housing Partnership is a not-for-profit organization that promotes and supports affordable homeownership in the Capital Region. AHP has played a leadership role in facilitating the creation of a local Housing Trust Fund. For more information contact the Affordable Housing Partnership, 255 Orange Street, Albany, NY.
UPDATE Jan-2013: The Albany County Housing Trust Fund has not been active since 2008. For background information, visit http://www.ahphome.org/alliance/