New York City, NY

Thousands of apartments that homeless New Yorkers qualified for remained unavailable to them due to bureaucracy


Over thousands of apartments across New York that homeless residents qualified for remained unavailable to them due to excessive red tape of bureaucracy.
A poster from members of the homeless community calling for access to housing.Ed Jones / AFP

Thousands and thousands of New Yorkers who are homeless could not acquire apartments that they qualify for due to the city's red tape, a New York Daily News article alleged.

According to advocates, a tangle of red tape kept the homeless local residents in shelters far longer than necessary.

Many had received Family Homelessness and Eviction Protection Supplements (FHEPS) to allow them to secure an apartment.

Despite householders being approved by landlords for rental through these city FHEPS vouchers, only a small portion was able actually to secure an apartment, the records show.

A Daily News report says landlords gave 2,623 householders the green light, but only 637 acquired a place to stay — which is about 24% of the total that had applied.

Last year, the city passed legislation that increased the value of these vouchers, making them far more valuable for all the homeless people who were still in shelters.

New York Governor Kathy Hochul also signed off on a separate provision that allows the state to cover 100% of market-rate rent with vouchers.

This was an increase from the previous 85% as pointed out by the governor's office, which aimed to make it easier for more homeless people to qualify for renting apartments financially.

The city Mayor Eric Adams has stated his desire to reduce the red tape that New Yorkers face when dealing with municipal government.

Mayor Adams also highlighted the importance of people moving into shelters, but those in shelters have to move into these apartments to create space for others to be housed.

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