NYS Coalition Calls for $10B for Emergency Housing and Rental Assistance
On April 14, New York State Senator Brian Kavanagh, Assemblyman Andrew Hevesi, and over 200 state senators, Assembly members, City Council members, county executives, city-wide elected officials, tenant advocates, and owner organizations sent a letter to Senators Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand along with the New York Congressional delegation. The group requested a substantial infusion of federal funds for rent subsidies. Specifically, they called on Congress to include $100 billion in additional stimulus funding, with $10 billion for New York State for housing and rental assistance.
“Not only has COVID-19 cost New Yorkers their lives and their livelihoods,” said State Senator Kavanagh and chair of the NYS Senate Housing Committee, “but hundreds of thousands of residents face the grim prospect of also being severely burdened by rent they cannot pay and losing their homes. As we work to contain the suffering this deadly pandemic is causing, we must devote funds to protecting tenants and stabilizing the housing market. Our legislation offers a clear path to help tenants remain in their homes and provide landlords with sufficient funds to pay their mortgages, maintenance costs, and property taxes.”
Kavanagh, joined by Assembly Housing Committee Chair Steven Cymbrowitz, recently introduced state legislation, S8140A / A10248, to provide emergency rental assistance vouchers to help keep New Yorkers who have lost jobs or income due to the COVID-19 crisis from losing their homes. Under the voucher program, the government will pay for rent that exceeds 30 percent of an individual’s or family’s current monthly adjusted income, for rent up to 250 percent of the fair market rate for the area. The legislation has 27 cosponsors in the Senate and 18 in the Assembly, and has received broad support from tenant groups and owners alike.