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$4.5 Million For Housing Programs

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Governor David A. Paterson today announced 21 awards totaling $4.5 million to not-for-profit housing agencies and local governments in New York City, Long Island and Westchester County that will help to build, rehabilitate or modify 292 homes for low-income families, people with disabilities and frail elderly homeowners and tenants.

Governor Paterson said "These awards will help to leverage additional investments of more than $15 million from public and private sources that will create jobs and increase our stock of affordable housing. More importantly, these awards will dramatically improve the quality of life for thousands of vulnerable New Yorkers. They will make the homes of frail elderly and people with disabilities more accessible so they can remain in their communities rather than being forced into an institution, and they will help to repair dangerous conditions in the homes of low-income elderly."

The state's top housing official, Brian Lawlor, said "These awards allow our partners, primarily not-for-profit community groups, to administer important programs that will help thousands of New Yorkers live in safe, affordable homes. And this year, thanks in large part to the integration of the state's primary housing agencies, we were better able to coordinate these awards with funding from other housing programs. Coordination of scarce resources allows us to maximize the positive impact our programs have on communities and families all across our state."

The awards were made through three programs administered by the State's integrated Housing Agencies:

The HOME Program – The board approved nine awards totaling $2.5 million through this federally funded program, which allows community-based non-profit housing organizations as well as local governments and private developers, to acquire, rehabilitate, or construct housing, or to provide assistance to low-income home-buyers and renters.

The awards include a $225,000 grant for NHS of East Flatbush to provide homeownership assistance to individuals and families. Some of the homes will be targeted for veterans, families who are homeless and persons who are first-time homebuyers. This program is also being financed by HomeFunders, a partnership of private funders who seek to provide affordable housing for very low income families and Neighborworks, a national nonprofit organization that provides financial support, technical assistance, and training for community-based revitalization efforts.

RESTORE – (Residential Emergency Services to Offer Repairs to the Elderly) Program funds are used to pay for the cost of emergency repairs to eliminate hazardous conditions in homes owned by the elderly when the homeowners cannot afford to make the repairs in a timely fashion.

The board approved eight RESTORE awards totaling $600,000 for Downstate New York organizations to make emergency repairs to 114 homes. The awards include $75,000 for Northfield Community Local Development Corp of Staten Island to provide emergency repairs for 25 elderly homeowners. This program is also receiving support from the NYC Office for the Aging and the State's Weatherization Assistance Program. The City of White Plains also received a $75,000 award to help elderly homeowners correct dangerous conditions in their homes. The City of White Plains is providing its own resources toward that effort as well.

The Access to Home Program – this innovative program provides financial assistance to property owners to make modifications to the homes of frail elderly and people with disabilities, such as ramps, bathroom handrails and other features to enhance accessibility and safety. The program enables individuals to safely and comfortably continue to live in their residences and avoid institutional care. The board approved four Access to Home awards totaling $1.4 million, which will help to modify 74 units in Downstate New York.

The awards include a $350,000 grant for Community Development Corporation of Long Island Inc, which will help make 18 homes in Nassau and Suffolk Counties accessible and safe for people with physical disabilities and people who are frail elderly.

United Cerebral Palsy of New York City also received a $350,000 award. The organization is providing its own resources as well which, together with funding from the Brooklyn Community Foundation, will help make modifications in 28 homes.

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Ken Towler

Reverend Kenneth L. Towler is a part time protestant minister and automotive inventor. He has a BA in Bible and Pastoral Ministries from Columbia International University and an MDiv. from Southwestern Seminary.