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NY REALTORS, Senator Little, Assemblymember Ramos push for first-time homebuyer savings program

May 25, 2016

May 24, 2016 - ALBANY, New York – The New York State Association of REALTORS (NYSAR) was joined by New York State Senator Betty Little (R-Glens Falls) and Assemblymember Phil Ramos (D-Brentwood) on REALTOR Lobby Day in support of the NY First Home legislative proposal designed to assist New Yorkers in their quest to become first-time homeowners. The program would create a new tax-free savings account to help cover costs associated with the purchase of a first home in the state. 

“As REALTORS we see first-hand the struggles of individuals and young families who are trying their best to achieve the American Dream of homeownership,” said NYSAR President Linda Lugo. “Their biggest challenge is being able to save enough for the down payment and to pay for the closing costs, which are among the highest in the nation. The NY First Home savings program is a win for both first-time homebuyers and our state. First-time buyers would have help saving for a home and New Yorkers will enjoy the neighborhood stability and economic growth their participation in homeownership would bring.” 

The NY First Home legislative proposal being sponsored in the New York State Legislature by Senator Betty Little and Assemblymember Phil Ramos would function as a dedicated savings account for individuals planning to buy their first home. Modeled after New York’s 529 College Savings Program, individual New Yorkers utilizing a NY First Home account would be able to deposit up to $5,000 ($10,000 for couples) of after-tax dollars annually, receive a deduction on their state income taxes for the principal saved and apply the savings and any interest earned towards the purchase or construction of a first home in New York State. 

“The dream of buying a first home is very exciting, but the reality of paying the down payment, closing costs and taxes can be a daunting challenge for many New Yorkers,” said Senator Betty Little, chair of the Senate Housing, Construction and Community Development Committee.  “This legislation would encourage responsible home ownership by rewarding savings for that purpose through a state income tax deduction.  It’s proactive, fiscally responsible and I think something which would appeal to a lot of people who want to be more financially ready when taking that big step of a first-time home purchase.” 

“Buying a home is one of the clearest and most exciting symbols of success and opportunity. But, unfortunately, between hefty student loans and exorbitant closing costs, too many young people are finding it impossible to save for a down payment,” said New York State Assemblymember Phil Ramos.  “The NY First Home savings program will go a long way in helping all hardworking New Yorkers attain financial security to invest in their dreams, put down roots and help grow our economy.”

According to research from the National Association of REALTORS, home ownership in the U.S. during the 2nd Quarter of 2015 hit its lowest level in nearly 50 years and New York State has consistently had the lowest statewide rate of home ownership in the country, excluding the District of Columbia.

The statewide campaign kicks-off today with NYSAR’s 2016 lobby day and includes a digital letter-writing campaign at NYFirstHome.com, patch-through calls, home mailers and digital ads to highlight the positive impact of the NY First Home proposal on New York State’s economy and homeownership.

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Sponsored by the REALTORS Advocacy Committee. NY First Home is promoting the First-time Homebuyers proposal. To learn more visit: NYFirstHome.com


The New York State Association of REALTORS is a not-for-profit trade organization representing more than 50,000 of New York State’s real estate professionals. The term REALTOR is a registered trademark, which identifies real estate professionals who subscribe to a strict code of ethics as members of the National Association of REALTORS. These REALTORS are also members of the New York State Association of REALTORS as well as their local board or association of REALTORS.

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