Urban Initiatives Program


The Urban Initiatives program is administered by the Office of Community Renewal (OCR) under the direction of the New York State Housing Trust Fund Corporation (HTFC).

The purpose of the Urban Initiatives program is to provide financial/technical resources to New York communities for the restoration and improvement of housing, commercial areas and public/community facilities in urban neighborhoods. This program will provide grants to not-for-profit community based organizations and charitable organizations that have a direct interest in improving the health, safety and economic viability of a distressed urban neighborhood or other aspects of the area environment that are related to community preservation or renewal activities.

Eligible Applicants

Organizations incorporated under the NYS Not-for-Profit Corporation Law that have been providing relevant service to the community for at least one year prior to application.

Eligible Project Types

Applicants may request funds to undertake housing preservation and community renewal activities in distressed neighborhoods by preserving existing housing units, generating new housing units, upgrading commercial and retail areas and by creating innovative approaches to neighborhood and community revitalization which improve cultural and community facilities.

Eligible Areas

Eligible areas for Urban Initiatives projects are neighborhoods within units of local government in New York State. Eligible units of local government include cities, towns or villages with a population of 20,000 or more.

An eligible neighborhood for UI projects shall mean an area: (a) that has experienced sustained physical deterioration, decay, neglect, or disinvestment; (b) has a number of substandard buildings or vacant residential or commercial units; and (c) in which more than fifty percent of the residents are persons whose incomes do not exceed eighty percent of the area median income for the county or metropolitan statistical area (MSA) in which the project is located, or which is designated by a state or federal agency to be eligible for a community or economic development program.

Projects demonstrating a direct benefit to persons and families whose incomes do not exceed eighty percent of the area median income for the county or MSA in which a project is located are not required to meet the criterion (c) above.