MAMARONECK, N.Y. – With more foreclosures and eviction cases than ever before, now is not the time for New York State to cut all funding to Neighborhood Preservation Companies (NPC) like Mamaroneck-based Washingtonville Housing Alliance, said Bob Galvin, chair of group’s board of directors.
Do you think funding for the Neighborhood Preservation Program should be restored in the 2012-2013 NYS Budget?
Gov. Andrew Cuomo's 2012-2013 New York State budget proposal cuts funding for the Neighborhood Preservation Program (NPP) completely. The Washingtonville Housing Alliance, an NPC, has seen its portion of state funding drop from $85,000 to $55,000 in recent years -- but with no state funding at all, Galvin said there will be serious cuts.
"We'll have to make some decisions about cutting back services," said Galvin, who specified emergency assistance, outreach, eviction prevention and financial literacy. "We would have to cut back on staffing and services."
The NPP, together with the Rural Preservation Program was last funded at $12,018,000 in the 2011-2012 state budget. The state will save $8,479,000 with the elimination of the NPP, and $28,811,000 by reducing the All Funds Aid to Localities by 19.4 percent to $119,827,000.
Washingtonville Housing Alliance's argument for restoring state aid is that Neighborhood Preservation Companies boost local economies.
"NPCs, such as the Washingtonville Housing Alliance, have a direct connection to generating jobs, revenues and taxes into the local economy," Galvin testified at a Feb. 16 public hearing on the proposed 2012-2013 state budget proposal.
Since 1980, Washingtonville Housing Alliance, which owns eight buildings and has constructed and rehabbed more than 115 housing units in the village, has assisted 1,000 families with eviction prevention and more than 300 families displaced by flooding from the 2007 nor'easter and Tropical Storm Irene. In 2010 and 2011, the group said it made $38,000 and $24,000, respectively, in emergency grants to families living in Mamaroneck.
"Whatever we get we spend right away, there's no administrative costs on that. It's just direct assistance to clients," he said.
Attendants of the alliance's 46 units spend $750,000 annually in Mamaroneck, with another $250,000 spent by the 75 senior citizen households in Mamaroneck Towers, Galvin told New York State Assembly members at the same public hearing.
"We're looking for restoration of funding," Galvin said. "If you're going to cut spending, there are better places to cut."