Legacy City Homeownership Program

Across New York State, lingering effects of the foreclosure crisis, combined with population loss and limited access to capital have resulted in cities struggling to address blight, particularly vacant and distressed 1-3 unit properties. These abandoned structures continue to drive down market conditions and strain limited municipal resources. As these properties have languished, the cost of renovation is often greater than the after-improved value, putting scalable and targeted revitalization efforts financially out of reach.


In many of these same cities, historic trends in lending discrimination and redlining practices have contributed to a massive homeownership gap in communities of color. This is compounded by the rising costs and limited availability of “move-in ready” homes for sale in these markets.


With the Legacy City homeownership program, CPC and New York State aim to address these market dislocations. The program will provide resources to small developers who have the capacity to take title to and renovate vacant properties, creating new affordable homeownership opportunities for underserved families, particularly first-time homebuyers of color. Aiming to empower minority and woman-owned businesses (M/BWE), the program will give preference to M/WBE developers.


CPC is providing funding for the program through its ACCESS initiative, launched in 2020 to provide capital and pre-development support to developers and real estate entrepreneurs of color, and which targets high quality housing projects in underserved communities.



The application process is open to land banks that are active in upstate cities and are working in partnership with small, local developers. Preference will be given to applications that include developers that are minority- and women-owned businesses.


Initially, the program will target projects that are located in an upstate community served by a New York State Land Bank in several regions, including the Capital Region, Central New York, Finger Lakes, Mid-Hudson, Mohawk Valley, North Country, Southern Tier, and Western New York. 


Selected land banks will transfer assemblages of up to 10 single-family properties to local developers, with preference going to developers that are minority- and women-owned businesses. CPC will provide construction financing and each project will be eligible to receive up to $75,000 per unit in HCR subsidy, with the potential for $95,000 per unit if specific energy efficiency improvements are included in the project scope. Once completed, each property will be resold to first-time homebuyers, with priority given to households of color and to families who earn less than 80 percent of area median income. 


Applicants will also be required to work with community-based housing counseling agencies to connect residents to HCR’s “Give Us Credit” program–a statewide initiative that uses alternative credit analysis to increase homeownership for applicants who have been underserved in the homeownership market, particularly applicants of color. HCR will offer these potential homebuyers down payment assistance to cover acquisition and closing costs. 


Program applications will be accepted on a rolling basis and the application window will remain open until the program funds have been committed. 


Please download the term sheets below for detailed information on eligibility and program requirements.