New Legislation to Help New Yorkers Through Nationwide Affordability Crisis
Governor Kathy Hochul recently signed a legislative package aimed at expanding tax relief for New York homeowners, particularly those 60 and over. The package, which was signed alongside members of the State Legislature and advocates, will help to support homeowners – from first-time homebuyers to senior citizens – as inflation, rising costs, and other factors drive a nationwide affordability crisis.
“I am proud to sign these bills to put money back in the pockets of New York homeowners and help seniors and families stay in their homes,” Governor Hochul said. “With inflation and rising costs putting a strain on families nationwide, this legislation will help to ensure that New Yorkers — from seniors to first-time homebuyers — get some much-needed relief. I thank the bill sponsors for getting this legislation over the finish line and for their partnership in our mission to keep New York affordable.”
The bills signed will expand eligibility for New York property tax exemptions and the Residential Emergency Services to Offer (Home) Repairs to the Elderly (RESTORE) program, which provides financial resources for homeowners age 60 and over to make repairs that allow them to continue living independently in their homes. They include:
Legislation S.3085A/A.3956A: this allows municipalities to increase the maximum income eligible for New York’s real property tax exemption to $50,000 for people aged 65 and over and people with disabilities. Before, the maximum income eligible was $29,000 per year outside of New York City for seniors and people with disabilities.
Legislation S.8890/A.9135: this extends the option for local municipalities to provide a property tax exemption for first-time homebuyers purchasing newly constructed homes through 2028. Before, the option was set to expire at the end of this year.
Legislation S.9193/A.10271: this bill provides greater benefits on a more flexible timeline for senior homeowners in need of emergency repairs by increasing the deadlines for RESTORE projects to 60 days and the maximum cost allowed per project to $20,000.
Affordable Housing for Seniors
Governor Hochul is tackling New York’s housing affordability crisis with a $25 billion housing plan announced in this year’s budget, which includes $300 million for the construction of new housing for seniors. In the past year, the State has announced the creation of over 1,400 units of senior housing.
Tax Relief for Seniors
New York State continues to provide several refundable and non-refundable tax credits benefiting people aged 65 and older. The Long-Term Care Insurance Credit benefits individuals and businesses who pay premiums for qualifying long-term care insurance policies. The Real Property Tax Credit benefits New York homeowners paying full or partial real property tax.
In addition, as part of the Enacted Budget, the Governor and the State Legislature are providing $2.2 billion in tax relief to approximately 2.5 million homeowners across New York State through the Homeowner Rebate Tax Credit. More than 2 million checks have already been delivered and the remaining checks will be sent in the coming months.
Expanding Medicaid Access
Earlier this year, as part of the Enacted Budget, Governor Hochul and the New York State Legislature increased seniors’ eligibility for Medicaid and the Medicare Savings Program by raising the income limit for New Yorkers 65 and up to 138 percent of the federal poverty level. This will ensure that more New Yorkers have access to reliable, affordable health coverage. The budget also increased eligibility for people with disabilities and undocumented individuals 65 and up.
New York State Office for the Aging Acting Director Greg Olsen said, “These new laws will enhance the ability of programs that provide vital assistance to help older adult homeowners age in place, find housing stability, and economic security. I commend Governor Hochul for expanding these programs and options to help homeowners of all ages.”
Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins said, “The senior population is one of New York’s fastest growing demographics, and a source of great pride for our state. After a lifetime of contributions, it’s our duty to ensure that seniors can live in comfort and dignity for the remainder of their days. My bill helps in that goal by expanding the property tax exemption eligibility for those 65 and older, and for those who are disabled and face limited income. This will help alleviate the burden placed on those with financial constraints and protect the assets of seniors and other vulnerable populations. I thank the Senate Majority for their attention to this issue, and Governor Hochul for signing these crucial bills into law.”