The network has helped more than 100,000 New York homeowners avoid displacement because of foreclosure, scams or mortgage distress. Its services are supported in part by bank settlement funds available through the state attorney general’s office. The only alternative is for Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo to include network funding for these programs in the state budget.Read More
ALBANY, N.Y. -- Today, Assembly Majority Leader Crystal Peoples-Stokes, Assembly Judiciary Committee Chair Jeffrey Dinowitz, Assembly Housing Chair Steven Cymbrowitz, Assembly Banks Chair Kenneth Zebrowski, Assemblymembers Sean Ryan, Monica Wallace and Karen McMahon, along with advocates and homeowners from across the state came together to ask Governor Cuomo to continue critical funding for programs that help vulnerable New Yorkers fight mortgage fraud, scams, and foreclosures. The Communities First coalition of 167 advocacy organizations, businesses and labor unions, is requesting the Governor include $20 million in funding in the executive budget for vital housing counseling and legal services programs that will otherwise be forced to shut down -- a loss for New York families that would cut a safety net of free, trusted services and eliminate hundreds of nonprofit jobs.Read More
Communities First Coalition Seeks $20 Million in Executive Budget to Ensure Continued Funding for Critical Consumer Services
Albany, New York – On February 5th, lawmakers, advocates, and homeowners will rally at the Capitol in support of Communities First, a network of 89 nonprofit housing counselor and legal service providers, to call on Governor Cuomo to dedicate $20 million in funding to continue critical services for vulnerable New York homeowners.
Over the last decade, this coalition of community nonprofits has helped over 100,000 New Yorkers fight homeowner scams, fraud, and displacement -- but the network will be forced to shut down if funding runs out on March 31, 2019 as scheduled. The nonprofits are currently funded primarily through bank settlement funds tied to the 2008 financial crisis, but those funds are nearly depleted. Unless the Governor steps in to allocate $20 million to the network in this year’s budget, countless nonprofits will be forced to lay off workers and scale back their services, and many will be forced to shut down completely.
For additional information, please visit the Communities First website at http://www.nycommunitiesfirst.com
WHAT: Press Conference urging Gov. Cuomo to provide nonprofit funding
WHEN: Tuesday, Feb. 5, 2019, 1 p.m.
WHERE: NYS Capitol - Million Dollar Staircase
WHO: Elected Officials, Advocates, and Homeowners, including:
Assembly Majority Leader Crystal D. Peoples-Stokes
Assemblymember Jeffrey Dinowitz
Assemblymember Sean Ryan
Empire Justice Center
Center for NYC Neighborhoods
Western New York Law Center
No Funding to Continue Nonprofit Housing Counseling and Legal Services in Executive Budget
“For New York homeowners, there was one devastating omission in Governor Cuomo’s executive budget: funding to continue essential, free nonprofit housing counseling and legal services to New Yorkers at risk of losing their homes. Over the last decade, a network of 89 housing counseling and legal services nonprofits has been helping families in every county across New York State fight mortgage fraud, scams, foreclosure and other complex housing challenges –critical legal help that allows New Yorkers to keep their homes and stay in the communities they love. That funding runs out on March 31. We are calling on Governor Cuomo to dedicate $20 million in the executive budget so nonprofits can continue to deliver high-quality, free services to New York families from Buffalo to Long Island and everywhere in between. With the rising threats to homeownership that could lead to countless New Yorkers being displaced and financially ruined, we implore Governor Cuomo to stand up for New York homeowners and save hundreds of nonprofit jobs statewide by including funding in the 21-day amendments.”
— Meghan Faux, Legal Services NYC; Kirsten Keefe, Empire Justice Center; Christie Peale, Center for New York City Neighborhoods
The Buffalo News published an editorial on Dec. 20, 2018, calling on the Governor to include the Communities First agenda in his executive budget. “Unless Albany acts, desperate homeowners — referred by courts, municipalities and even the state — will have nowhere to turn,” the Editorial Board wrote.
NextCity takes a look at the impact of the network’s services in Western New York, finding that foreclosure prevention is still very much needed.