Attorney General James Announces New Funding For Landlord Ambassador Program To Support And Preserve Multifamily Properties  

$1.5 million to be awarded to community organizations to engage property owners and help preserve vulnerable rental housing

NEW YORK -- Attorney General Letitia James today announced a new program to preserve multifamily housing across New York State. The “Landlord Ambassador Program” engages property owners at risk of losing their buildings. The program, a collaborative effort with Enterprise Community Partners, provides landlords of small- and medium-sized multifamily dwellings with low-cost financial resources.  

“Too many landlords in New York state are simply underwater, struggling to access the necessary resources to maintain their buildings,” said Attorney General Letitia James. “The Landlord Ambassador Program keeps property ownership in our neighborhoods, while bringing permanent housing solutions to communities. We know this innovative program works, and look forward to working with community organizations to sustain our state’s viable housing stock.” 

This statewide Landlord Ambassador Program is an expansion of a 2017 New York City initiative launched by the Office of Attorney General, New York City’s Department of Housing Preservation and Development, and Enterprise. This statewide expansion will allow for grants to be awarded to organizations operating anywhere in the state with the exception of New York City. 

Through this program, up to five community-based organizations will be selected as Landlord Ambassadors to operate regionally and work with local municipalities to identify troubled property portfolios and engage landlords to develop preservation outcomes. 

“Connecting owners of rental buildings to low-cost preservation resources is vital to keeping New York State’s homes and neighborhoods stable and affordable,” said Judi KendeVice President and Market Leader, Enterprise Community Partners.  “The Landlord Ambassadors program leverages the expertise of non-profit housing organizations to provide owners with critical support to preserve much-needed affordable rental housing.” 

“Preserving and maintaining affordable housing for New York families requires a holistic approach that engages partners on all fronts,” said New York States Homes and Community Renewal Commissioner RuthAnne Visnauskas“The Landlord Ambassador program will arm multifamily housing owners with information and connect them to HCR resources designed to keep properties safe and affordable for the long-term, rehabilitating distressed properties and strengthening our communities. This is the type of innovative community-based initiative that HCR is committed to as we work to carry out Governor Cuomo’s $20 billion plan to build and preserve more than 100,000 affordable homes across the state.” 

“This opportunity will be helpful to landlords to aid in the stabilization and expansion in repairs of their property,” said City of Elmira Mayor Daniel Mandell. “This program will be a tremendous help to those in Elmira who do not have the resources to properly rehabilitate their multifamily housing units and need this assistance. We thank Attorney General Letitia James and Enterprise Community Partners for all that they continue to do to help the City of Elmira and its residents.”  

“I want to commend Attorney General James for developing this innovative program that recognizes the important role landlords play in providing safe, quality and affordable housing in our communities,” said Rochester Mayor Lovely A. Warren. “Providing landlords with access to low-cost resources will help us close our affordable-housing gap, which advances our efforts to create more jobs, safer and more vibrant neighborhoods and better educational opportunities.” 

The Landlord Ambassadors will provide technical assistance to owners of small- to medium-sized multifamily housing to connect them to resources such as New York State Homes and Community Renewal’s Small Building Participating Loan Program (PLP) and HOME Local Program Small Rental Development Initiative (SRDI). These resources are vital to achieve the Landlord Ambassador Program’s goal to assist owners to upgrade and preserve their buildings for long-term affordability. The ambassadors will also expand opportunities for affordable housing developers to acquire occupied, distressed multifamily housing stock by coordinating with municipalities and owners to pursue preservation sale opportunities. 

Enterprise Community Partners is managing the Landlord Ambassador Program and will release a Request for Applications (RFA) today for community-based and community development organizations. Enterprise expects to award up to $1.5 million to organizations over a 2-year period. Applications are due April 26th and awards are expected to be announced by the end of May. To obtain more information about the eligibility for RFA and learn how to apply, please visit this link.