Posted by: Patricia Salkin | October 5, 2008

Workforce Housing Law Enacted in New York for Long Island Counties

In August, Governor David Paterson signed into law The Long Island Workforce Housing Program.  Introduced by Majority Leader Dean Skelos, the new law which will take effect on January 1, 2009, provides that when a developer makes an application to a local government to build five or more residential units in Nassau or Suffolk counties, the local government shall require one of the following, in exchange for a density bonus of at least ten percent, or other incentives:


– The set aside of at least ten percent of those units for “affordable workforce housing”, defined as housing for individuals or families at or below 130 percent of Long Island’s median income; or


– The construction of the required affordable units on other land within the same municipality; or


– The payment of a fee for each affordable unit that the developer would have been required to construct. The fee shall be equal to two times the median income for a family of four on Long Island. In cases where the fee exceeds the appraised value of the building lot, the fee shall equal the appraised value of the lot.


The fees collected by the local government may be used in one of the following ways:


– The local government may establish a trust fund to be used for the construction of affordable housing, the purchase of land for the purpose of providing affordable housing, or rehabilitating existing structures to provide affordable housing; or


– The local government may turn the funds over to another local government within the same county, subject to an intermunicipal agreement, to be used in the same manner described above; or


– The local government may turn the funds over to the Long Island Housing Partnership. Fifty percent of this money must be used in the same manner described above; the remaining fifty percent must be used, through the creation of a revolving loan fund, to provide down payment assistance to qualified homebuyers who are eligible for the partnership’s employer-assistance housing benefit program.


Further, the law provides that all units created under this act shall remain affordable for subsequent purchasers.


Chapter 444 of the New York Laws of 2008 (S.6823-A). 


The bill text can be accessed at:

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