THE CPC WAY / Community Development

CPC and New York State Partner to Launch Legacy Cities Homeownership Program

By Rafael E. Cestero, President & CEO

I’m pleased to announce that CPC has partnered with Governor Cuomo and New York State Homes and Community Renewal (HCR) to announce the State’s new Legacy Cities homeownership program.

“Legacy Cities,” like Buffalo, Rochester and many others in Upstate New York, are cities that were thriving in the first half of the 20th century, but have struggled to recover following the exodus of industry which led to significant population loss and economic decline. In many of these same cities, historic trends in lending discrimination and redlining practices have contributed to a significant homeownership gap in communities of color.

This new $25 million program will target blighted properties owned by land banks in New York’s Upstate cities. The land banks will transfer portfolios of single-family properties to local developers with a preference for M/WBE organizations. When the rehab is complete, sales will be prioritized to first-time purchasers of color and low-income households.

CPC will work with the chosen developers and provide funding for the program through our ACCESS initiative which was launched in 2020 to provide capital and pre-development support to BIPOC developers and real estate entrepreneurs, and which targets high-quality housing projects in communities of color.

When we were designing ACCESS last year, one of our goals was to leverage partnerships that would push us beyond our existing capital products and offerings, to bring an intentional focus on addressing racial inequities in BIPOC communities in a thoughtful and comprehensive manner. This partnership with the State helps move the needle in both promoting and enabling greater diversity and inclusion in the industry, while also addressing the racial gap in homeownership and the need to create generational wealth and equity through affordable homeownership opportunities.

I invite you to read the Governor’s full announcement, and I look forward to working with our partners to advance efforts to bring greater equity and opportunity to the people and places most in need.

By Rafael E. Cestero, President & CEO
Rafael E. Cestero is the President and Chief Executive Officer of the Community Preservation Corporation (CPC), and a member of its board of directors.

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