Increase Access to Tax Incentives
In the past two years, New York State has passed legislation that compliments the the Federal Historic Preservation Tax Incentives program and is intended to be used to open up funding for rehabilitation of older building stock in areas such as Albany. The federal program is a credit of 20% of rehab costs, as is the state, for income producing properties, both commercial and residential. There is also a 20% credit for homeowners. All three can be used together - imagine the investment in owner-occupied multi-family properties if you could recoup 60% of your rehab costs. The vacant and underused properties in this city need a lot of help; many times the cost is out of reach for the young professionals that could be living and owning in the city.
The only catch is that the building must be in a historic district, either locally or nationally recognized. Much of the building stock in Albany uptown is already classified as "Traditional Neighborhood" and subject to building permit approvals for facade work. I propose that we get this area (and others) declared a Historic District in the National Register or at the local level to open up the city to incredible amounts of funding. This could transform the Pine Hills student ghetto as well as other marginal areas in the city.