Says $100 million of federal funding will be available to provide fast and affordable high-speed internet to underserved communities in rural and urban areas that lack critical service
√ Survey available here
Empire State Development (ESD) and Homes and Community Renewal (HCR) are encouraging owners and managers of affordable housing properties across the state to indicate their interest in the $100 million Affordable Residential Connectivity Program, which will provide no-cost installation of fiber broadband wiring and equipment upgrades under Gov. Kathy Hochul's ConnectALL initiative. ESD and HCR are asking property owners and managers to indicate interest in receiving these fiber installations at no cost, regardless of whether properties already have broadband wiring. Following the survey, interested parties will be contacted with a more detailed application.
ESD President, CEO and Commissioner Hope Knight said, "Having reliable, accessible and affordable broadband is essential to our economy and our quality of life. This program is a vital component of Gov. Hochul’s ConnectALL initiative and will connect all New Yorkers, especially in communities that have historically been left behind."
New York State Homes and Community Renewal Commissioner RuthAnne Visnauskas said, "As we found out during the pandemic, New Yorkers need affordable, dependable broadband for work, school, and to access critical services. That’s why HCR is committed to seeing as many affordable housing developments as possible take advantage of this $100 million Affordable Residential Connectivity Program that is poised to deliver reliable internet into 100,000 homes. Every owner of affordable housing who is interested in a no-cost way to bring this essential service to their tenants should complete the quick survey and take an important step toward closing the digital divide."
Hochul, U.S. Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer and U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand recently announced New York was awarded this federal funding from the U.S. Department of Treasury through the American Rescue Plan to expand high-speed internet. Hochul’s team said, “This is the largest targeted investment in affordable housing connectivity in the nation. New York estimates this funding will allow them to connect 100,000 homes and families to affordable, high-speed internet across the state by providing affordable housing properties with new or upgraded fiber broadband so that those residents can access internet service options that are high-speed and offered at an affordable monthly price.”
Through this program, building owners will work with preapproved internet service providers (ISPs) that will design and install the fiber running to each affordable home.
Last year, New York enrolled 1 million qualifying households in the federal Affordable Connectivity Program, a nationwide subsidy to expand broadband access to low-income households. The federal program, funded by the “Bipartisan Infrastructure Law,” provides discounts of up to $30 a month toward internet service for eligible low-income households.
Hochul’s team said her $1.2 billion ConnectALL initiative has “made significant investments in mapping and data collection; grant programs to support municipal open-access infrastructure, rural broadband projects, and innovative service delivery pilots; broadband upgrades in affordable housing; reforms to streamline deployment and remove regulatory hurdles; and the development of a Statewide Digital Equity Plan and Digital Equity Grant Program. Last year, the ConnectALL office supplemented the federal FCC broadband data by providing more than 31,000 addresses to help the better address the needs of New York communities unserved or underserved by broadband.
Homes and Community Renewal develops, preserves and protects affordable housing and invests in economically vibrant communities.