City To Streamline Rental Assistance Programs

Image credit: Department of Homeless Services.

Old rental assistance programs will be combined into one. On July 18, 2018, the de Blasio Administration announced the new City Fighting Homelessness & Eviction Prevention Supplement (CityFHEPS) program, which will replace the Living in Communities, the Special Exit and Prevention Supplement, and the City Family Eviction Prevention and Exit Plan Supplements programs, creating one unified rental assistance program. The new CityFHEPS program will simplify the rental assistance process making it easier for New Yorkers in need to get back on their feet and remain in their homes. The new program will also give landlords a simpler process to participate. The proposed rule was published for public comment on Friday, July 20, 2018.

Homelessness in the City has increased 115 percent between 1994 and 2014. After the cancellation of the Advantage rental assistance program, homelessness increased almost 40 percent between 2011 and 2014. In streamlining the rental assistance programs, the CityFHEPS program hopes to ease the process of identifying and securing permanent housing to help New Yorkers experiencing housing instability to exit shelters or avoid entering shelters altogether.

De Blasio administration states that streamlining the City’s rental assistance programs will: provide greater clarity, consistency, and efficiency for all participants in the programs, including New Yorkers experiencing housing instability and/or homelessness, City social-service and shelter staff, not-for-profit providers, as well as landlords, making it easier to open doors to more housing options; and align City programs with the State Family Homelessness Eviction Prevention Supplement (State FHEPS) program, including implementing similar rent levels and time frames for rental assistance eligibility.

Mayor de Blasio said, “Streamlining rental assistance will help New Yorkers experiencing homelessness obtain and remain in homes they deserve rather than on the streets or in shelter. It’s one more tool we’re using to help turn the tide on this decades-long challenge.”

Department of Social Services Commissioner Steven Banks said, “After the City and State cut the Advantage rental assistance program in 2011, which led to a 38 percent increase in homelessness in just three years, this Administration jumped in aggressively to fill the gap by rebuilding rental assistance and rehousing programs from scratch, which have so far provided nearly 95,000 New Yorkers with the vital support needed to remain housed or secure housing. By streamlining our initiatives into one unified program, we’re taking those efforts further, making it easier for New Yorkers in need and landlords with the keys to housing options to open and access more doors of opportunity citywide. This common-sense step is another example of our City’s commitment to using every tool at our disposal to address the nationwide challenge of homelessness that has been decades in the making.”

Council Member Stephen Levin, Chair of the General Welfare Committee said, “Streamlining vouchers will help thousands of New Yorkers with one of the biggest challenges residents experience in our city—finding a home for themselves and their family. Making the process easier, for both prospective tenants and landlords, means fewer individuals in shelter or on the streets, and more people into the homes they deserve. I’m proud to support the City’s continued commitment to addressing homelessness and I look forward to the next innovations that place individuals on the path to permanency.”

One thought on “City To Streamline Rental Assistance Programs

  1. Clearly this plan De blasio mastered up isn’t working. Now since NYC rental market rates are through the roof, no one wants to take a voucher of $1,557 for a family of 3-4. Landlords and Realty companies are illegally discriminating against voucher holders. And what makes matters worse, families are being forced to comply with taking run down homes just to exit shelters and stay in inhabital homes.
    Affordable housing is a joke… If you’re making $55,000 a year for a family of 3, you don’t need a voucher honestly. And affordable housing is only accepting folks with incomes of $42,000 and better. The city needs to prioritize when it comes to homeless individuals and families. They pay taxes and work as well as everyone else! Not everyone is born with a silver spoon in their mouths!

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