ALBANY—According to results from a Homeownership Poll conducted by the Siena Research Institute, 84% of New York voters support the NY First Home proposal that would create a tax-free savings account to help New Yorkers save for a first home. Support for the program was bi-partisan and spread across the entire state.
Specifically, the NY First Home proposal would allow individuals to deposit up to $5,000 per year ($10,000 per year for married couples) into a first home savings account, which would be tax deductible for state income tax purposes. The total principal savings and any interest accrued could then be used towards qualified costs associated with the purchase or construction of a first home in New York State, such as down-payment and other closing costs.
“NY First Home is a responsible and much-needed initiative that would help thousands of New Yorkers who are struggling to save for a first home,” said Dawn Carpenter, president of the New York State Association of Realtors. “The poll results show that our state’s residents understand what we as Realtors see on a daily basis. The monthly mortgage payment is not what is keeping first-time homebuyers from achieving the American Dream. It’s saving for the down-payment and closing costs.”
“It’s clear that New Yorkers want to see NY First Home become a reality, and I join them in asking the governor and legislature to make this proposal a priority,” said Carpenter. “We would like to see it included in this year’s state budget negotiations.”
The SRI poll, conducted in December 2016, showed universal support for the NY First Home proposal that stretched across all demographics, geography and political ideology. African Americans were most likely to support the NY First Home proposal (89%). An overwhelming 92% of respondents between the ages 18-34 supported NY First Home, while 87% in the 35-54-age bracket support the proposal. Self-identified Conservative and Liberal respondents also shared a common level of support for the proposal (89% of Liberals and 79% of Conservatives).
NYSAR has focused on the issue of the declining rate of first-time homebuyers in New York State, and has been working to enact NY First Home. The proposal was passed unanimously in the New York State Senate last June. The Hudson Gateway Association of Realtors has also supported the proposal.