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Says governor’s proposed budget cuts $35 million in funding for homeowner protection program; HOPP funding has helped local organizations provide free legal services to homeowners facing mortgage and tax foreclosure for over a decade
New York State Sen. Sean Ryan has called for the restoration of funding for the Homeowner Protection Program in the fiscal year 2023-24 state budget. Last year’s enacted state budget allocated $35 million to this program. He said this year’s executive budget proposal cuts its funding entirely.
A press release stated, “The Homeowner Protection Program (HOPP) is a statewide coalition of legal services organizations and housing counseling agencies. HOPP has provided free legal services to homeowners facing mortgage and tax foreclosure for more than a decade. An investment into these critical services is an investment in both families and our communities. HOPP organizations have been a lifeline when many felt like they had nowhere to turn.
“Without the support of HOPP organizations and their expertise, many families would lose their homes. The timing for this funding cut could not be worse, as in rem property tax foreclosures are restarting in communities across New York. Additionally, many shelters are already at capacity, leaving people with nowhere to go. The loss of this program would have a devastating impact on families across New York state, and a terrible impact on our state’s economy.”
Ryan said, “Funding the Homeowner Protection Program is making an investment in the families and communities of New York. The services made possible by this program have been a lifesaver for countless New Yorkers over the last decade. As if that isn’t enough of a reason to fund it, it has the added benefit of cutting down on zombie properties that are all too prevalent in neighborhoods across the state.”
New York State Sen. Tim Kennedy said, “New Yorkers shouldn't be forced to choose between feeding their families and paying their mortgage. The Homeowners Protection Program has served as a vital resource for people who are struggling to stay in their homes, and we cannot afford to cut any investment in this critical program and the services it provides.”
Keisha Williams, executive director of the Western New York Law Center, said, “The Western New York Law Center has proudly been a member of the Homeowner Protection Program for more than a decade. Because of this critical funding, the Law Center and our legal services and housing counseling partners have contributed to housing stability, preserved home equity, and, most importantly, helped thousands of individuals and families in Western New York avoid homelessness. It is imperative that Gov. Hochul restore HOPP funding in her 30-day budget amendments. We are grateful for Sens. Ryan and Kennedy for their unwavering commitment to Western New York homeowners.”