Home programs like Better Neighborhoods, Inc. would be able to help storm victims
to afford to rebuild their homes and stay in their communities
Assemblyman Jim Tedisco (R,C,I-Schenectady-Saratoga) and Assemblyman Steve McLaughlin (R,C-Melrose) today called on state and federal leaders to help provide meaningful relief to victims of Tropical Storms Irene and Lee by giving first-time home-owner status and benefits to storm victims who lost their homes.
Currently, first-time home buyers have a variety of programs and services available to help them afford a house. New York State, through the State of New York Mortgage Agency (SONYMA), offers five mortgage programs which feature competitive interest rates, low down payment requirements, flexible underwriting guidelines, no prepayment penalties and down payment assistance. The federal government funds these mortgage programs, along with an affordable home construction program, for first-time home buyers administered by the Schenectady-based non-profit Better Neighborhoods, Inc. (BNI).
Tedisco and McLaughlin have written to President Barack Obama and New York Governor Andrew Cuomo requesting they waive federal and state rules to permit flood victims to rebuild their homes and take advantage of these first-time home buyer programs. (Letters Attached).
“Tropical Storms Irene and Lee were catastrophic events for many Upstate communities, leaving many families homeless. By giving first-time home buyer status and benefits to those who lost their homes in the storms, we can help more New Yorkers rebuild and remain in the place they call home,” said Tedisco, former Minority Leader and current Assistant Minority Whip.
“We need to be doing everything we can to help families get their lives back to normal after the devastating storms and granting them the same privileges we already give to first-time home buyers will be a big help. This is a common-sense solution that can help get families back in their homes faster as we begin to re-build our flood ravaged communities,” said McLaughlin.
Edward August, Executive Director of BNI said, “As a resident of the Village of Schoharie and a victim of Hurricane Irene, I am very much aware of the devastation and loss that has occurred in Schenectady and Schoharie Counties. In an effort to assist those that have lost their homes, Better Neighborhoods, Inc. is ready, willing and able to offer homes it has recently constructed and rehabilitated in the City of Schenectady to displaced homeowners. We just need our state and federal agencies to grant ‘first-time homebuyer’ status and the use of state and federal subsidies that would benefit these victims.” August noted that BNI currently has four homes in Schenectady that, if first-time buyer rules were waived, could be available for eligible flood victims.
Letter to Governor Cuomo
Letter to President Obama