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Long Island News

Cuomo Vetoes Affordable Housing Bill

David Goldman

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has vetoed legislation that would have allowed five towns in eastern Long Island to create a fund to help first-time home buyers and create affordable housing.

The Community Housing Fund would have been created by referendum and financed by a .5% real estate transfer tax on the buyer. It’s modeled after the towns’ Community Preservation Fund, which uses a 2% transfer tax to preserve open space and improve water quality.

State Assemblyman Fred Thiele sponsored the bill, which passed the Assembly and Senate with bipartisan support. Thiele said it would have provided up to $20 million a year for affordable housing initiatives. It would also have given first-time home buyers access to financial assistance and housing counseling. 

The state comptroller issued a report in June that ranked Suffolk County in the top five least affordable counties in the state.  

Thiele says he will reintroduce the measure in 2020.