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SOTS: Proposal to open Dormitory Authority's low-cost finance, design and construction services to all nonprofits & school districts

Submitted

Mon, Jan 18th 2021 01:00 pm

Proposal would enable nonprofits and school districts to move forward with important projects while continuing to provide vital services during COVID-19

Gov. Andrew Cuomo recently announced a proposal to open the Dormitory Authority of the State of New York's low-cost financing, design and construction services to all nonprofits and school districts, as part of his 2021 State of the State agenda. Through this program, nonprofit organizations and school districts can access the Dormitory Authority of the State of New York's services for needed capital improvements at lower costs during the COVID-19 state of emergency so they can spend their limited resources on vital services. Importantly, DASNY also would be authorized to assist with providing finance for working capital needs, a service which can be costly for these types of entities.

A press release noted, “Already, DASNY has financed and built an array of critical community projects from residence halls at SUNY Brockport and SUNY Polytechnic Institute in Utica to energy performance projects that save their clients and taxpayers money over the long-term.”

Cuomo said, "The inaction of the federal government to properly fund and support state and local entities throughout the COVID-19 crisis has depleted the coffers of our school districts and the nonprofits who have stood in the gap to provide vital services since March. The state of New York understands the significant sacrifices public entities have made to keep their doors open this year. Low-cost financing, which saves dollars on major construction projects, will soon be provided to school districts and nonprofits, because the State of New York values their role in serving the public and their visions for a brighter tomorrow in partnership with their communities."

The press release stated, “From school districts trying to teach children remotely to nonprofit organizations that provide critical services to a wide range of New Yorkers and employ more than 1 million people, these entities deliver some of the most vital services to New Yorkers. Nonprofit organizations often operate on shoestring budgets that make it difficult for them to invest in capital projects, even when such projects are necessary.”

DASNY President and CEO Reuben McDaniel III said, "DASNY's unique expertise in multiple areas provides important, efficient and cost-effective support for state agencies and health and education institutions across the state in designing, financing and constructing complex and critical projects. We look forward to expanding our services to help school districts and nonprofits continue their important work during challenging times."

The press release noted, “In a typical year, nonprofits receive $187 billion from state and local governments, which is more than four times the $44 billion they receive from private foundations. The nonprofits that often are most vulnerable to COVID-19 are those that depend upon people coming to congregate sites for their income, including museums, theaters, child care centers and recreation centers. Other nonprofits have seen the demand for services skyrocket at facilities that are in dire need of investment. Gov. Cuomo has been focused on strengthening the relationship between state government and nonprofit organizations while developing initiatives to bolster the nonprofit sector and enhance services for New Yorkers.”

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