AG Schneiderman, Enterprise Provide $3.5 Million for Community Land Trusts to Create and Preserve Permanently Affordable Housing and Resources in New York State

Four New York municipalities and counties will receive funds to establish or strengthen Community Land Trusts that preserve affordable housing, manage assets and revitalize communities

Funding Secured through AG Schneiderman’s Settlements with Big Banks

NEW YORK – July 19, 2017 – New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman and Enterprise Community Partners (Enterprise) today launched the Community Land Trusts Capacity Building Initiative by distributing $3.5 million to four New York municipalities and counties to create or expand local Community Land Trusts (CLTs), which are nonprofit organizations dedicated to stewarding permanently affordable housing and community assets. The New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development, the City of Albany, Suffolk County and Nassau County will each receive grants that will leverage CLTs to boost community revitalization and preservation efforts in areas facing high rates of foreclosure, loss of affordable housing or deterioration of community resources. Funding for the initiative comes from settlements with large financial institutions, negotiated by New York State Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman, to address the banks’ misconduct that contributed to the housing crisis.

“Quality affordable housing and local ownership are the backbone of a stable community,” said Judi Kende, vice president and New York market leader, Enterprise. “Land trusts help protect and preserve homes so they remain affordable over the long term. Through these grants, Enterprise will empower counties and municipalities statewide to make their communities safer, healthier and more affordable for years to come.” 

”Too many New Yorkers continue to struggle in the aftermath of the housing crisis,” said Attorney General Schneiderman. “We’re committed to investing the dollars we secured from the banks in revitalizing our neighborhoods – and providing New York families with safe and affordable housing for the long term.”

The four awardees were selected based on their CLT proposals, which were required to demonstrate a commitment to serving primarily low-income residents while advancing racial and economic equity; improve upon or bridge gaps in local affordable housing programs or community resources; encourage local community engagement and provide opportunities for local stewardship and ownership. The $3.5 million will fund a total of seven individual CLTs, whose goals include rehabilitating vacant, blighted buildings, implementing a CLT learning exchange, securing affordable homeownership for low-income families and more.

"We need every tool at our disposal to confront the city’s affordable housing crisis," said New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development Commissioner Maria Torres-Springer. "Through Enterprise’s new Community Land Trusts Capacity Building Initiative, New York City can strategically use CLTs where they add the most value, complementing our existing range of affordable housing programs.  I want to thank Enterprise for supporting a community-driven approach to affordable housing development and neighborhood revitalization that matches the goals of Housing New York.”

“Bringing vacant and abandoned buildings back to life is a top priority for the City of Albany, and collaboration with partners like the Albany Community Land Trust is a vital part of that effort,” said Albany Mayor Kathy Sheehan. “This funding from Enterprise Community Partners, Inc. will help us to improve the quality of life in one of Albany’s most distressed neighborhoods, and we are grateful for this opportunity.”

“Suffolk County is excited to be part of the Enterprise Community Land Trusts Capacity Building Initiative and to continue work with our partner the Long Island Housing Partnership,” said Steve Bellone, Suffolk County Executive. “This initiative has been established to create and support Community Land Trusts. The Community Land Trust model is another way to create homeownership for Long Islanders and we are pleased to be part of this endeavor. We, at the County, wish to thank the NYS Attorney General’s office for their support of this initiative.”

“Nassau County is pleased to partner with Long Island Housing Partnership, Inc. and its newly incorporated Land Trust and the Uniondale Community Land Trust as part of the Enterprise Community Land Trusts Capacity Building Initiative,” said John Sarcone, Nassau County Director of Housing and Community Development. “Nassau County is excited to work with its longtime partner the Long Island Housing Partnership on this new program, which will increase homeownership opportunities for Long Islanders.  We also wish to thank NYS Attorney General’s office for their support. “

Over the next 24 months, grants given through the initiative will fund operations and start-up support as well as capital projects. In addition to these funds, Enterprise will offer awardees supplementary assistance by convening a bi-monthly CLT learning collaborative. Ultimately, Enterprise hopes the successful outcomes from the program will encourage more public and private support for CLTs in the future.

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About Enterprise

Enterprise Community Partners is celebrating 30 years in New York with a renewed commitment to a mission that is more important than ever: to create opportunity for low- and moderate-income people through affordable housing in diverse, thriving communities. The New York branch of the national organization invests capital to create and preserve quality affordable homes for low- and moderate-income people, reinvests revenues to develop programmatic solutions in coordination with public and private partners, and scales these solutions through policy change. Over the past 30 years, Enterprise has helped create over 57,000 homes and invested nearly $3 billion in New York, touching thousands of lives. Join us at www.EnterpriseCommunity.org.