Communities First will rejuvenate neighborhoods & affordable housing



New York has consistently set the national standard for community stabilization and foreclosure prevention. Innovative and well-funded programs helped bring New York through the worst of the foreclosure crisis by providing homeowners with legal protections and access to a network of high-quality housing counselors and legal service providers, and by giving municipalities tools to address distressed mortgages and zombie properties.


Photo Credit: New York Governor’s Office


Here’s What We Will Do:


Zombie Properties

Zombie properties continue to plague communities across New York State. The program will deploy housing counselors and legal service providers to a) stop the flow of new vacant and abandoned properties, b) work with DFS and local governments to inventory existing zombie properties, and c) implement viable strategies to enforce lender obligations for zombie properties.


Distressed Mortgage Debt

Providers are working with municipalities and other stake holders across the state to acquire distressed mortgage debt and homes, and implement community-based solutions for affordable housing. In collaboration with land trusts and the Community Restoration Fund, providers will work with municipalities to identify opportunities for revitalization. Providers will also assist homeowners seeking home retention solutions and prospective homebuyers seeking affordable housing.


Municipal Debt

Municipalities are positioned to preserve affordable housing using creative strategies for properties with tax and utility arrears. Program providers will collaborate with municipalities to protect the loss of affordable units due to municipal debt, including for low-income coops.