New York State Governor Kathy Hochul recently announced that $100 million is going to be made available for counties to help homeless individuals and families, as well as low-income New Yorkers struggling to pay their rent. The aim of the program is to offer funding in all 57 counties in the state and New York City to combat homelessness and ideally allow those in the shelter system access to a permanent home by providing rental assistance.
“Everyone deserves the dignity of a roof over their head, yet the pandemic has inflamed housing insecurity and made it difficult for many New Yorkers to pay their rent,” remarked Hochul of the funding. “With far too many pushed to the brink of homelessness, this assistance, the first of its kind in many counties outside New York City, will provide a stop gap measure to keep struggling renters in their homes, while helping those in the shelter system secure permanent housing.”
Administered by the New York State Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance (OTDA), the funding is part of the New York State Rental Supplement Program. Each individual county must opt into the program and submit a distribution plan to OTDA, where they then will choose to either directly oversee the disbursement of funds themselves or delegate the process to another entity.
“The economic turmoil resulting from the global pandemic laid bare the struggles of so many New Yorkers, including those on the cusp of or experiencing homelessness,” Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance Executive Deputy Commissioner Barbara C. Guinn said. “This funding will help counties move additional individuals and families from a homeless shelter to permanent housing and provide a safety net to prevent low-income households from falling into housing insecurity or homelessness. I applaud Governor Hochul’s leadership for helping to make these rental supplements a reality for struggling households across our state.”
Half of all supplements are reserved for those in shelters or experiencing homelessness, while other interested households should make no more than fifty percent of the Area Median Income (AMI) to qualify, with priority given to those making thirty percent or less.
“Addressing the statewide challenge of homelessness requires a holistic approach focused on preventing homelessness wherever possible while also providing those experiencing homelessness with the tools and resources needed to exit shelter and move into permanent housing,” commented New York City Department of Social Services Commissioner Steven Banks. “Today’s important announcement by Governor Hochul provides our City with vital funding that will build on the important progress we’ve made at NYC DSS connecting more than 175,000 New Yorkers in need to permanent housing since 2014. We thank the Governor and all our partners in Albany for their assistance in support of our shared mission to help New Yorkers experiencing homelessness stabilize their lives and return to independent living.”
Officially adopted as part of the FY2022 budget, the Rental Supplement Program funding is split between nearly $68 million for New York City and just over $32 million to all other counties in New York state, totaling the $100 million in available funding.