Attorney General James Announces Up To $300,000 Grant For Affordable Housing In Clinton, Essex, And Hamilton Counties

Attorney General James Announces up to $300,000 Grant for
Affordable Housing in Clinton, Essex, and Hamilton Counties

Funded Through Landlord Ambassador Program to Create and Preserve Affordable Housing

NEW YORK – Attorney General Letitia James announced that the Housing Assistance Program of Essex County (HAPEC)—a member of New York’s Landlord Ambassador Program serving Clinton, Essex, and Hamilton Counties—will receive up to $300,000 in funding to help preserve affordable housing in the region. The program, created by the Office of the Attorney General in 2017, helps preserve multifamily housing stock by partnering with local non-profits to assist landlords of distressed properties obtain financing for repairs or find new, responsible developers to take over the buildings.

“Far too many individuals and families in the Adirondack Region have had a tough time finding safe, affordable housing,” said Attorney General James. “The mission of the Landlord Ambassador Program is to support the work of community-based organizations working side-by-side with municipalities to help address this issue. The goal of this program is to help bridge existing gaps and to revitalize affordable housing stock in Clinton, Essex, and Hamilton counties.”

The Landlord Ambassador Program helps coordinate municipalities and property owners to help landlords access financing and technical support to repair occupied, distressed multifamily homes as well as preserve these homes as part of the region’s affordable housing stock. The program, administered in conjunction with Enterprise Community Partners, provides up to $1.5 million in grants for a two-year period to community-based non-profit organizations in six regions outside of New York City.

“Many landlords want to keep their properties affordable, but simply do not have access to the tools they need to do so,” said Judi Kende, vice president and New York market leader, Enterprise Community Partners. “The Landlord Ambassador Program leverages the expertise of non-profit housing organizations to support landlords in their efforts to preserve affordable homes. We are excited to expand our partnership with the Attorney General and bring these valuable connections and expertise to even more landlords across the state.”

Founded in 1978, HAPEC focuses on community development to help meet the housing needs of Adirondack region residents, advocating for change and more housing opportunities. Through the Landlord Ambassador Program, HAPEC can receive up to $300,000 to provide technical assistance to building owners helping them be able to fund their properties’ upgrades and help to create and preserve safe, affordable homes in Clinton, Essex, and Hamilton Counties. It also seeks to alleviate economic distress, promote community vitality, enhance personal dignity, and cultivate self-resilience through a commitment of excellence, integrity innovation, and collaboration. 

“We at the Housing Assistance Program of Essex County, Inc. are very grateful to the Attorney General James and Enterprise Community Partners for supporting affordable housing preservation in our communities,” said Bruce Misarski, executive director, HAPEC. “HAPEC is excited to be a participant in the New York State Landlord Ambassador Program. We will combine our expertise in administering Housing Choice Voucher, Housing Rehabilitation, and Home Owner Counseling programs in order to support, preserve, and protect this much needed housing stock thereby further promoting healthy communities in the region we serve.”

"Housing affordability has become an issue of profound importance in retaining a year round population in Hamilton County,” said William G. Farber, chairman, Hamilton County Board of Supervisors. “The assistance of the Landlord Ambassador Program, to be administered through the Housing Assistance Program of Essex County, for the benefit of the residents of Hamilton, Essex, and Clinton Counties is great news.”

“Essex County is a geographically large rural county that is starved for inventory in affordable housing for moderate income residents and young families who make up the work force and the catalyst of economic growth,” said Shaun Gillilland, chairman, Essex County Board of Supervisors. “We are absolutely thrilled to be a part of the Landlord Ambassador Program because it will be a crucial lead element in maintaining and expanding good affordable housing for critical growth populations.” 

This new round of the Landlord Ambassador Program is funded by an OAG obtained settlement with the Royal Bank of Scotland.