Cuomo signs legislation to allow nonprofits to convert hotels into affordable housing

Senate Deputy Majority Leader Michael Gianaris.
Senate Deputy Majority Leader Michael Gianaris.
NY Senate Media Services
Senate Deputy Majority Leader Michael Gianaris sponsored the legislation.

Cuomo signs legislation to allow nonprofits to convert hotels into affordable housing

Nonprofits and housing advocates have praised the law.
August 18, 2021

Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed a bill last week that would allow the state to finance the acquisition and conversion of financially distressed hotels and office buildings for nonprofits to convert into affordable housing.

The Housing Our Neighbors with Dignity Act, sponsored by Deputy Senate Majority Leader Michael Gianaris and Assembly Member Karines Reyes, would require at least half of the converted properties to be set aside for people dealing with homelessness. The other half of the units would be set aside for people earning up to 80% of an area’s median income. The state’s Division of Housing and Community Renewal will vet and select nonprofits to tackle the conversions as well.

The bill aims to use vacant properties, particularly hotels that have been hard-hit by the COVID-19 pandemic, to fill in the need for more permanent affordable housing across the state. Organizations such as the Community Service Society, VOCAL-NY and Housing Works that advocated for its passage celebrated the governor signing it into law.

“(The Housing Our Neighbors with Dignity Act) will tackle the dual problems of distressed properties and lack of affordable housing made worse by the pandemic,” Gianaris said, according to Spectrum News. “Now let’s begin the hard work of properly implementing (Housing Our Neighbors with Dignity Act) and ensuring more New Yorkers have a home they can afford.”

NYN Media reporter Kay Dervesh
Kay Dervishi
is a staff reporter at NYN Media.
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