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Package of new laws take aim at housing affordability crisis in New York

On Governor Kathy Hochul signed a legislative package aimed at expanding tax relief for New York homeowners, particularly those 60 and over.

The package, which was signed alongside members of the State Legislature and advocates, will help to support homeowners – from first-time homebuyers to senior citizens – as inflation, rising costs, and other factors drive a nationwide affordability crisis.  

“I am proud to sign these bills to put money back in the pockets of New York homeowners and help seniors and families stay in their homes,” Governor Hochul said. “With inflation and rising costs putting a strain on families nationwide, this legislation will help to ensure that New Yorkers — from seniors to first-time homebuyers — get some much-needed relief. I thank the bill sponsors for getting this legislation over the finish line and for their partnership in our mission to keep New York affordable.”

New Legislation  

The bills signed today will expand eligibility for New York property tax exemptions and the Residential Emergency Services to Offer (Home) Repairs to the Elderly (RESTORE) program, which provides financial resources for homeowners age 60 and over to make repairs that allow them to continue living independently in their homes. They include:  

  • Legislation S.3085A/A.3956A: this allows municipalities to increase the maximum income eligible for New York’s real property tax exemption to $50,000 for people age 65 and over and people with disabilities. Before today, the maximum income eligible was $29,000 per year outside of New York City for seniors and people with disabilities.  
  • Legislation S.8890/A.9135: this extends the option for local municipalities to provide a property tax exemption for first-time homebuyers purchasing newly constructed homes through 2028. Before today, the option was set to expire at the end of this year.  
  • Legislation S.9193/A.10271: this bill provides greater benefits on a more flexible timeline for senior homeowners in need of emergency repairs by increasing the deadlines for RESTORE projects to 60 days and the maximum cost allowed per project to $20,000.   

Affordable Housing for Seniors 

The bills tackle New York’s housing affordability crisis with a $25 billion housing plan announced in this year’s budget, which includes $300 million for the construction of new housing for seniors. In the past year, the State has announced the creation of over 1,400 units of senior housing.  

Tax Relief for Seniors 

New York State continues to provide several refundable and non-refundable tax credits benefiting people age 65 and older. The Long Term Care Insurance Credit benefits individuals and businesses who pay premiums for qualifying long-term care insurance policies. The Real Property Tax Credit benefits New York homeowners paying full or partial real property tax.  

With inflation and rising costs putting a strain on families nationwide, this legislation will help to ensure that New Yorkers — from seniors to first-time homebuyers — get some much-needed relief.

In addition, as part of the Enacted Budget, the Governor and the State Legislature are providing $2.2 billion in tax relief to approximately 2.5 million homeowners across New York State through the Homeowner Rebate Tax Credit. More than 2 million checks have already been delivered and the remaining checks will be sent in the coming months.  

Expanding Medicaid Access 

Earlier this year, as part of the Enacted Budget, Governor Hochul and the New York State Legislature increased seniors’ eligibility for Medicaid and the Medicare Savings Program by raising the income limit for New Yorkers 65 and up to 138 percent of the federal poverty level. This will ensure that more New Yorkers have access to reliable, affordable health coverage. The budget also increased eligibility for people with disabilities and undocumented individuals 65 and up.  

Expanding Access to SNAP Benefits 

The Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance (OTDA) has deployed a simpler application for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), making it easier for low-income working people, seniors, and people with disabilities to access benefits to purchase food. At Governor Hochul’s direction, OTDA has also taken steps to ensure that eligible seniors can continue receiving SNAP benefits by extending how frequently they need to recertify their eligibility to 36 months, 12 months longer than the previous timeline. Additionally, seniors are no longer required to complete an interview to recertify eligibility – frequently one of the greatest impediments to successful recertification.