Attorney General James Grants More Than $2 Million To Long Island To Support Livable Communities

Attorney General James Grants More Than $2 Million to Long Island to Support Livable Communities

Funds Will Be Provided to Community Land Trusts

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LONG ISLAND — New York State Attorney General Letitia James announced that Long Island is the recipient of more than $2 Million to provide critical resources to acquire, redevelop, and manage habitable housing units. This grant is part of the second round of the “Community Land Trusts Capacity Building Initiative,” which helps acquire and rehabilitate blighted and vacant homes for low- and moderate-income families.

“Helping to give someone a home, or keep someone in their home, is actually supporting our children, our families, and our communities. I am proud to work with local organizations to make good on this mission: to protect and maintain safe, clean, and suitable housing units”, said Attorney General Letitia James. “This grant goes a long way towards helping local governments partner with community-based organizations to meet their local housing needs.”

The awardees of this grant are three community land trusts (CLTs) in Nassau and Suffolk Counties—non-profit community based organizations designed to ensure community stewardship of land. These organizations acquire, redevelop, and manage livable housing in the State of New York.

Nassau County will receive a total of $950,000, while Suffolk County will get $1,100,000 to support two CLTs: the Uniondale CLT (U-CLT) and the Long Island Housing Partnership Community Land Trust (LIHPCLT). These CLTs plan to acquire, renovate or construct over 25 homes that will become permanent affordable housing. Moreover, they intend to engage in public education for residents, local municipalities, community leaders and businesses on the advantage of the CLT model and homeownership.

These awards are a continuation of the 2017 Community Land Trust Initiative, created by the Office of the New York Attorney General and Enterprise Community Partners to support the formation of six community land trusts in the state.

This program, funded after reaching two settlements with the Royal Bank of Scotland and UBS, also led to the creation of a CLT Learning Exchange comprised of nine community-based organizations, to address housing challenges, and to develop and promote new models of community ownership of decent and suitable housing and community spaces.

“Enterprise is excited to provide this second round of funding to catalyze new Community Land Trusts and strengthen existing ones,” said Enterprise Community Partners Vice President and New York Market Leader Judi Kende. “CLTs give neighborhood residents the power to decrease displacement, ensure permanent affordability, and, most importantly, make decisions about development in their own communities. This round of funding will deepen that work by supporting even more CLTs and expanding opportunities for local stakeholders to play an active role in revitalizing and preserving communities across New York.”

“After the destruction caused by Sandy, bringing vacant and abandoned homes back to life to create permanent affordable housing for our residents is a top priority in Nassau County,” said Nassau County Executive Laura Curran. “Thanks to our successful Community Land Trust partnership with the Long Island Housing Partnership, newly-completed houses across the County are now being sold to homebuyers at affordable price points. I’m grateful to Attorney General James for providing robust funding to build the capacity necessary to revitalize communities and make home ownership a reality for more of our residents.”

"It is because of Attorney General James' leadership and the important work of her office that Suffolk County will have these additional resources available to construct more affordable housing units for our residents. This is welcome news that will facilitate our ongoing revitalization efforts and we look forward to putting this funding to good use in partnership with our local stakeholders," said Suffolk County Executive Steven Bellone.

Enterprise Community Partners released a report on the impact of the first round of the Community Land Trust Initiative. Enterprise was able to leverage the initial grants into a $63 million investment for permanent affordable housing in NYC, Long Island, and Albany. The first round of the program will lead to the creation of 70 buildings or homes, 453 permanently affordable housing units, and 34 new positions or jobs.

One of the awardees, the Long Island Housing Partnership, Inc. (LIHP)—has provided low-cost housing opportunities to many families struggling to secure or remain in a decent and safe home. In 2018 alone, LIHP assisted approximately 2,000 clients through various initiatives and programs.

“By developing home in the Community Land Trust, LIHP ensures that the property is forever dedicated to affordable workforce housing”, said Long Island Housing Partnership, Inc. President and CEO Peter J. Elkowitz. “The LIHP Inc. also thanked the New York State Attorney General for the continued support of Community Land Trusts and lauded the great public and private partners in creating the newly established CLT."

“Uniondale CLT (U-CLT) applauds the Attorney General Letitia James for her continued commitment to the creation of sustainable affordable housing by providing a 2nd round of funding to Community Land Trusts,” said U-CLT Project Coordinator Joe D'Lando. “U-CLT utilized its first round New York State funding to help finance the substantial rehabilitation of its first home and to acquire a vacant site to construct its next project. Round 2 funding will allow U-CLT to continue providing opportunities for low income and working class families to access homeownership in Uniondale using the Community Land Trust model. We look forward to working with Enterprise Community Partners as it oversees this 2nd round of CLT funding on behalf of the State of New York.”

The Community Land Trusts Capacity Building Initiative also reserves $200,000 for the grantees, in case that they need additional funding before the two-year program is completed.