From the Morning Memo:

With talk of a special session of the New York State Legislature before the year ends still swirling, state lawmakers and Gov. Andrew Cuomo are being urged to come to an agreement for spending up to $1 billion for housing for the homeless.

“We can look to the governor to lead and to strongly encourage the Senate leader and the head of the Assembly to please sign this and try to unlink it from anything else going on with a special session,” said Rev. Peter Cook, executive director of the New York State Council of Churches.

At issue is a memorandum of understanding drafted earlier in the year, with a pledged to fund up to 20,000 units of supportive housing for homeless people across the state.

“There is such a lack of supporting housing, beds and units,” said Shelters of Saratoga Executive Director Michael Finocchi. “This getting signed and pushed through will allow us immediately to apply for the funds.”

Advocates say the lack of funding for now has left some construction for housing up in the air.

“When you put up with a lot of uncertainty, as is the case right now, it puts a lot of things on ice,” Cook said.

In a a statement, a Cuomo spokesman said the ball was essentially in the court of the Legislature on the issue.

“The Governor’s unprecedented plan to combat homelessness and build 6,000 units of supportive housing over 5 years is on track,” said Cuomo spokesman Rich Azzopardi.

“Its first year is fully funded with $150 million to build the first 1,200 units already out the door. He has signed a MOU to release the subsequent years’ funding and is continuing to urge the Legislature to join him.”

Cuomo on Wednesday reiterated that he wanted the issue taken up in a potential special session.

“We’re in the middle of a homeless crisis,” said the governor. “One of the things I’m asking the Legislature to do when they come back, if they come back, is to release a billion dollars to help the homeless.”

Negotiations over a potential reconving of the Legislature continues between the governor and the top leaders in the Legislature.

“We’re working in good faith, and I think in good spirit, to try to come up with a completed agenda for a special session,” Cuomo said.

A special session could also pave the way for the first legislative pay increase in nearly 20 years.