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Rockland County Launches $13.5 Million Housing Loan Fund to Address Affordable Housing Needs

Rockland County Executive Ed Day, County Legislature Chairman Jay Hood Jr., and Community Development Director Alexandra S. Obremski announced the launch of the County’s Housing Loan Fund, which is now accepting applications.

The fund, stemming from the first comprehensive community and housing needs assessment conducted for Rockland, aims to provide direct loans to support the creation or preservation of affordable housing for Rockland residents. This initiative was unanimously approved by the Legislature on April 16th. The proceeds from loan repayments will be reinvested into the fund to facilitate future housing projects.

“We have aging populations who can’t afford to downsize, young families who can’t afford to upgrade, and skyrocketing unaffordable rents for those in between,” said County Executive Day. “This is the first of many steps we will be taking to address the complex housing hurdles this County is facing.”

County Legislature Chairman Jay Hood Jr. emphasized the importance of this initiative, stating, “The County’s Housing Loan Fund is an important step in encouraging and supporting the experts who can help address the national housing shortage on the local level. I urge all developers, municipalities, and affordable housing organizations to apply to the program so we can provide safe and proper housing to the individuals, seniors, and families who need it.”

The County has allocated $13.5 million from the American Rescue Plan Act funds for this initiative, with plans to commit the funds by the end of the year. Eligible applicants include not-for-profit and private housing developers who are current on all municipal taxes and fees and have a record of timely payment. Additionally, new buildings must meet the green building standards outlined in Columbia Law School’s Center for Climate Change Law’s Model Municipal Green Building Ordinance.

Rockland County Legislature Minority Leader Lon M. Hofstein highlighted the challenges faced by families, saying, “In today’s economy, even with both parents finding it necessary to work, it is still very difficult to secure a home that meets their family’s needs and falls within their budget. This new Housing Loan Fund can offer relief by bringing more affordable units to the market, assisting families in their quest to afford the home that they desire.”

Economic Development & Housing Committee Chairman Jesse Malowitz shared his optimism about the initiative’s impact on younger residents: “As a young person, I frequently hear my peers talking about how difficult – if not outright impossible – it is to be able to find housing they can afford in Rockland County. I am hopeful the new Housing Loan Fund will be the start of significant efforts to address this problem before we witness an entire generation leave the county because they can’t find an affordable place to live.”

Community Development Director Alexandra S. Obremski added, “The housing options that result from these loans will benefit Rockland’s residents: our seniors, essential workers, young adults, and volunteer emergency services providers. I look forward to working with the successful applicants to improve our county’s housing stock.”

The County’s Housing Needs Assessment (HNA) revealed several key findings:

  • Nearly 60% of homes in Rockland are single-family detached homes averaging $700,000.
  • The median household income in Rockland is $100,000, qualifying for a $260,000 mortgage.
  • A housing deficit of 4,200 units for those making under $60,000.
  • More than 40% of Rocklanders spend 30% or more of their household income on housing.

In addition to the Housing Loan Fund, the County is hiring a Housing Coordinator to lead the County’s housing initiatives, another recommendation from the HNA.

For those interested in applying for the Housing Loan Fund, more details can be found here.

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