City Initiative to Help Create Affordable Housing for CityFHEPS Voucher Holders

On February 8, 2024, New York City Mayor Eric Adams and New York City Department of Social Services (DSS) Commissioner Molly Wasow Park announced the Affordable Housing Services (AHS) initiative that will serve to create 1,500 permanent affordable homes. The homes created under AHS will specifically aid New Yorkers who are exiting the shelter system with City Fighting Homelessness and Eviction Prevention Supplement (CityFHEPS) vouchers. In addition to the launch of AHS today, DSS has pledged to fast-track the majority of the 1,500 units.

Around 10,600 households with CityFHEPS vouchers currently in the city’s shelter system struggle to secure affordable housing due to the city’s ongoing housing shortage. The goal of AHS will be to create new and much needed housing as well as a clearer pathway out of the shelter system. The program will help nonprofits purchase or lease affordable housing sites and secure strong tenant protections to house CityFHEPS voucher holders.

DSS’s pledge to fast-track the creation of 1,000 units of affordable housing will be achieved by cutting registration time for contracts with non-profit providers. This reduction in time taken to acquire contracts will allow all providers to move voucher holders into affordable units that are ready for immediate occupancy. The fact-tracked units will utilize long term leasing models and buildings that are ready for immediate move-in dates. The remaining 500 units created by AHS will be acquired by non-profit providers.

Contracts have been finalized between DSS and non-profit providers in furtherance of AHS initiatives for 700 CityFHEPS voucher households already. Around 150 households have already been placed in permanent housing under the program since 2023. The program is also working to convert the former JFK Hilton Hotel into affordable housing, the first project of its kind. To read more about the conversion of the JFK Hilton Hotel, please click here.

Mayor Adams said, “Time and time again, our administration has taken action to help New Yorkers in our shelter system move into permanent affordable homes, and our strategies have proven effective. As 10,000 households eligible for CityFHEPS are currently living in shelters, the Affordable Housing Services initiative will create over 1,500 much-needed permanent affordable homes for New Yorkers experiencing homelessness. And as we act now to connect New Yorkers to the homes they need, we will continue to advance our historic ‘City of Yes’ proposal to build housing in every neighborhood and advocate for Albany to truly meet the need.

DSS Commissioner Wasow Park said, “DSS administers rental subsidies for more than 70,000 households, effectively making us one of the largest housing authorities in the country. After taking significant steps to expand access to city-funded rental assistance for households in shelter, we are pursuing bold housing solutions and leveraging social service dollars to create critical permanent housing opportunities for them. The emergency use of the Affordable Housing Services initiative will fast-track connections to deeply affordable housing for 1,000 households in shelter while positioning them for long-term stability. This initiative will also be instrumental in helping build on the vital progress we’ve made increasing permanent housing placements from shelter last year. We are also grateful for Comptroller Lander’s partnership in this critical effort as we work collaboratively to realize new and innovative ways to deliver for some of our most vulnerable New Yorkers.”

By: Meg Beauregard (Meg is the CityLaw intern, and a New York Law School student, Class of 2024).

New York City Mayor and New York City Department of Social Services: “Mayor Adams Launches Program To Create 1,500 Permanent Affordable Homes for New Yorkers in Shelter” (Feb. 8, 2024).



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