Tompkins County
New York


Amending Section 224 of New York State County Law to Permit Counties to Appropriate Funds Towards the Development, Maintenance, or Management of Affordable Housing


Department:Planning and Sustainability DepartmentSponsors:
Category:Legislation or Funding - State and FederalFunctions:Housing, Legislation/Regulations


  1. Printout
  2. PDEQ_Cover_Memo_AmendingNYSCountyLaw_12-22-17 (This file has not yet been converted to a viewable format)
  3. NYS County Law Section 224

Resolution/Document Body

              WHEREAS, Section 224 of the New York State County Law provides the option for a county board of supervisors to appropriate and contract for public benefit services, and specifically to contract with non-profit organizations and other corporations, associations, and agencies within the county for the purposes listed in Section 224, and


WHEREAS, the list of objects and purposes for these optional appropriations and contracts for public benefit services does not include the development, maintenance, or management of affordable housing, and


WHEREAS, an inadequate supply of affordable housing that is well maintained and managed is a long-standing challenge that significantly impacts the health, safety, and well-being of many individuals and families in Tompkins County and throughout the state of New York, and


WHEREAS, this inadequate supply of affordable housing, together with the older housing stock common throughout Tompkins County and the state of New York, compromises the health and safety of community members who may be forced to live in unsafe housing conditions and/or use precious resources that might pay for adequate food, medicine, and clothing in order to secure housing for themselves and their families, and


WHEREAS, counties in the state of New York are permitted to spend Federal and New York State funds provided to them for the purposes of developing, maintaining, or managing affordable housing and to contract with other organizations to carry out these purposes, and


WHEREAS, although counties cannot address affordable housing challenges alone, counties in the state of New York have no mechanism under the current County Law to use any local funds to assist in the development, maintenance, or management of affordable housing and are therefore largely powerless absent the award of Federal or New York State funds for these affordable housing efforts, and


WHEREAS, without the authority to spend local resources on affordable housing, counties in the state of New York are facing a crisis in affordable housing development, as Federal and State funding for this urgent and critical need may be significantly cut in the near future, now therefore be it


RESOLVED, on recommendation of the Planning, Development, and Environmental Quality Committee, That the Tompkins County Legislature urges the New York State Legislature to amend Section 224 of the New York State County Law as follows:


(29) Development, maintenance, or management of affordable housing.



Meeting History

Jan 4, 2018 3:00 PM  Planning, Development, and Environmental Quality Committee Regular Meeting

Ms. McDonald explained that when looking into implementing the Housing Strategy it was discovered that New York State County Law Section 224 does not permit counties to appropriate County funds towards development, maintenance, or management of affordable housing and all the programs the County has been involved with have involved State or Federal funds. The resolution introduces the piece necessary to amend County Law, Section 224, and allow for use of County funds for housing for all counties throughout the State.

Ms. Robertson said she would like to bring this to the New York State Association of Counties (NYSAC) Conference at the end of January and if NYSAC’s support can be gained she would take the initiative to talk with other housing groups and anti-poverty groups in the State to bring this forward as a lobbying issue. She said this is no cost to the State but will allow counties to do what they can afford and choose to do about the housing issues.

Ms. McDonald spoke of the changes being made to Housing and Urban Development (HUD) that may reduce the amount of funding made available through them and ultimately reduce the funds made available to individual counties.

MOVER:David McKenna, Member
SECONDER:Deborah Dawson, Member
AYES:Martha Robertson, David McKenna, Deborah Dawson, Henry Granison
EXCUSED:Michael Sigler
Jan 16, 2018 5:30 PM Media Tompkins County Legislature Regular Meeting

Mr. Wood explained this resolution requests an amendment to New York State Law to permit Counties to appropriate funds for development, maintenance, or management of affordable housing

MOVER:Michael Sigler, Member
SECONDER:Anna Kelles, Member
AYES:Shawna Black, Amanda Champion, Deborah Dawson, Henry Granison, Rich John, Anna Kelles, Daniel Klein, Anne Koreman, Michael Lane, Leslyn McBean-Clairborne, David McKenna, Glenn Morey, Martha Robertson, Michael Sigler