Conte Wants Foreclosure Prevention Funding Restored
Assemblyman Jim Conte is urging his legislative colleagues to restore $25 million for the statewide Foreclosure Prevention Service Program after Governor Cuomo failed to fund it in his proposed spending plan or reinstate the program in his 30-day budget amendments.
Rather than fund the program, the Governor created a Foreclosure Prevention Unit within the Department of Financial Services, which Assemblyman Conte and many others have argued is no substitute for the current Foreclosure Prevention Service Program and the valuable assistance it provides.
“Statewide, the Foreclosure Prevention Service Program has assisted more than 80,000 homeowners over the last four years and saved 14,000 homes from foreclosure. In the Huntington area, the program has helped nearly 300 families and modified $8 million in mortgages for local homeowners,” said Conte. “Governor Cuomo’s new program is ill-equipped to address the enormous challenges facing the nearly 250,000 New York State homeowners facing foreclosure or serious delinquency.
“I fear that if the Legislature does not act to restore the $25 million for the Foreclosure Prevention Service Program, we will be jeopardizing our state’s fragile economic recovery while placing additional hardships on local governments that stand to lose billions of dollars in lost tax revenue.”
Failure to renew the program will be especially hard onLong Island homeowners. According to the most recent data from the Empire Justice Center, a nonprofit public-policy law firm, Suffolk County ranks first in homes facing foreclosure – 40,260 total – and Nassau County third with 26,341 homes.
“Over 60,000 homes on Long Island are in serious danger of foreclosure. These aren’t just so-called ‘McMansions,’ but include the homes of our friends and families in every neighborhood facing the ongoing economic crisis,” said Conte. “Worse, foreclosure not only affects the homeowner, it also drives down surrounding property values, reduces standards of living in neighborhoods and invites drug trafficking and other types of crime.
“With the state’s proposed spending plan at $132.5 billion, it is imperative for my colleagues in the Legislature to secure this relatively small but crucial funding to support New York State’s Foreclosure Prevention Service Program.
“The economics of not doing anything far outweigh the cost of the program and the repercussions of allowing hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers to slip into the abyss of home foreclosure,” said Conte. “I urge my colleagues to work together to save this important program in this year’s finalized state budget.”