New York Attorney General Letitia James and Enterprise Community Partners (Enterprise) today announced the New York State Preservation Opportunity Program (NYS-POP), a $12 million program to support local housing agencies and authorities outside of New York City to develop strategic approaches to preserving existing affordable housing portfolios.

“In addressing the need for affordable housing across the state, we must recognize the difficulties that housing authorities and agencies face in maintaining safe and decent affordable housing options,” said Attorney General Letitia James. “With NYS-POP, my office is prepared to tackle these challenges head-on, and help housing entities better understand the physical and financial scope and status of affordable housing portfolios. I have long advocated for more resources for housing authorities beyond New York City, and I am proud that this program will do exactly that.”

NYS-POP will be administered by Enterprise, and will unfold in two phases; the first phase will be open to any New York State  housing authority or agency outside of New York City. Participants in the first phase of the program will be provided county-level data and maps of various affordable housing portfolios. Additionally, participants will receive information and advice about the different types of affordable housing and strategic preservation approaches through learning sessions via webinars from experts in the field.

Later this summer, Enterprise will initiate the second phase of the program by issuing a Request for Proposals (RFP) where 10-15 housing authorities and agencies will be selected to receive in depth technical assistance to develop a preservation plan for a specific portfolio of affordable housing. Participation in the first round is required in order to be eligible to apply for the RFP.

Selected housing authorities and agencies will receive individualized financing and development plans, education around preservation options, and, if applicable, funding for physical needs assessments and early predevelopment and acquisition costs. After the individualized plans are developed, municipalities will submit proposals for grants of approximately $500,000 each to kick-start their preservation strategies. Grants can include funding for acquisitions, database upgrades, or other early predevelopment costs.

“Local governments in upstate New York know that the preservation of their affordable housing is incredibly important, but many just don’t have the tools they need to do this work,” said Judi Kende, Vice President and New York Market Leader for Enterprise Community Partners. “The New York State Preservation Opportunity Program will provide local governments the technical assistance to navigate the complexities of affordable housing preservation and early predevelopment funding to make that preservation a reality. We are excited to continue our partnership with the Office of the Attorney General and thankful for its support of this initiative.”

Funding for the initiative comes from settlements between the Office of the Attorney General with the Royal Bank of Scotland and UBS to address the banks’ misconduct that contributed to the housing crisis.

Housing agencies and authorities interested in participating can register now.