New York Gov. David Paterson announced $253 million in affordable housing grants through the recent American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA).

State officials said these are the first projects in the country to be awarded funding through the stimulus bill.

The ARRA included $2.25 billion for the new Tax Credit Assistance Program (TCAP) nationwide, which will help state housing agencies kick-start the production of stalled projects that rely on low-income housing tax credits (LIHTCs).

The first nine New York projects receiving funds include the acquisition and rehabilitation of three Mitchell-Lama apartment buildings by the New York State Housing Finance Agency and six “shovel-ready” projects identified by the state Division of Housing and Community Renewal (DHCR).

Two of the DHCR projects received LIHTCs from the agency last June. The financial downturn has had a devastating effect on the value of the tax credits, creating funding gaps that stalled the projects. These developments will provide nearly 1,400 units of affordable housing.

The announcement was made at the future site of the Erbograph Apartments in Harlem, The eight-story building will provide 64 affordable units for low-income and frail seniors. DHCR had granted the project $1.1 million in tax credits last year. The project is being helped with $5 million in TCAP funds.