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NY First Home – REALTORS Push for First-time Homebuyer Savings Plan

By HOM Editorial Team
July 2016

Dare to Dream

One of the New York State Association of REALTORS® (NYSAR) top priorities during the 2016 legislative session was the NY First Home proposal. This legislation, sponsored by Senator Betty Little and Assemblyman Phil Ramos, will help first time homebuyers achieve the American dream of homeownership in New York.

High taxes and fees have created barriers for potential homebuyers in New York who work hard to save for the purchase of their first home. State lawmakers considered the NY First Home proposal, modeled after the state’s 529 College Savings program, which would allow New Yorkers to save $5,000 annually (couples up to $10,000) to pay for costs associated with purchasing their first home. New York State taxpayers could also take a state income tax deduction against any deposits into the program.

Working with the National Association of Realtors®, NYSAR engaged in a multi-faceted media campaign designed to educate the public and lawmakers regarding the challenges facing first-time homebuyers in New York. Voters were asked to reach out to their elected officials and express their support for the NY First Home proposal by phone and mail.

The NYSAR campaign began with a statewide poll of probable voters across New York State that found broad, bi-partisan support for a first-time homebuyer savings program like the one we are advocated for during this session. A second and critical baseline component to our campaign was economic research and a cost-benefit analysis for our proposal. This independent study done by several economists found that for every dollar invested in the NY First Home proposal, state and county governments would recoup more than $5 dollars of economic benefit.

The NY First Home bill passed in the New York State Senate, but did not reach the Assembly floor for a vote. NYSAR will continue to champion the passage of this bill throughout 2016 and into the 2017 legislative session.

Visit NYFirstHome to learn more about our proposal and to take action by letting your lawmakers know you support this initiative.

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