City to Streamline Rental Assistance Programs
The de Blasio administration recently 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 Supplement 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.
The 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.