State and City Officials Praise Federal Housing Bill

Housing officials say the federal housing bill poised to become law will help address more than just New York's foreclosure crisis. WNYC's Cindy Rodriguez reports.

REPORTER: About $4 billion will be distributed nationwide to help localities buy and renovate foreclosed properties. The money will go to the hardest hit areas.

In New York City, that includes places such as Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn, and Jamaica, Queens. But beyond that the housing bill gives New York State an extra $634 million in extra bonding authority.

Priscilla Almodovar, president of the state's Housing Finance Agency, says tax exempt bonds are used by developers to build affordable housing:

ALMODOVAR: There has been a backlog of multi-family affordable housing projects which have not gotten the financing which they need to make the economics work.

REPORTER: Almodovar estimates the government backed bonds could help create or renovate about 4,200 apartments statewide. For WNYC, I'm Cindy Rodriguez.