Allowance for Essential Storage of Furniture and Personal Belongings
Proposed Rules: Closed to Comments
Statement of Basis and Purpose of Proposed Rule
HRA is proposing to add a new Chapter 11 to Title 68 of the Rules of the City of New York to improve the way Public and Emergency Assistance payments are made for storage of furniture and personal belongings for eligible persons. Under the rule, Public Assistance allowances or Emergency Assistance grants for the storage of furniture and personal belongings will be issued when essential, for circumstances such as relocation, eviction, or temporary shelter, subject to certain procedures and restrictions.
The proposed rule authorizes HRA to require a person whose storage fees exceed reasonable and customary amounts to submit three written cost estimates and move his or her possessions to the most cost-effective alternative storage facility or warehouse. A person requesting a storage fees allowance or grant who has not yet placed his or her possessions in storage will also be required to submit three estimates to HRA and utilize the most cost-effective alternative.
The proposed rule also provides that HRA will automate storage payments for eligible Public Assistance recipients residing in New York City Department of Homeless Services (DHS) shelters and HRA domestic violence shelters. For individuals who do not reside in shelters and for shelter residents who are not Public Assistance recipients who apply monthly and are determined eligible for this benefit, HRA will make non-automated payments directly to the storage facility or warehouse.
The proposed rule authorizes HRA to deny payment of late fees if it does not receive storage bills and/or an application for storage payments on a timely basis, without good cause.
Finally, the proposed rule authorizes HRA to deny an application for storage fees when a person:
(i) does not provide three written estimates when required;
(ii) seeks to increase the amount of belongings stored when such increase is not essential;
(iii) cannot demonstrate a continued need for storage fees allowances/grants; or
(iv) refuses available permanent housing, including offers of supportive housing, without good cause.
This rule is proposed pursuant to the authority of the Commissioner of the New York City Human Resources Administration (HRA) under Sections 603 and 1043 of the New York City Charter, Sections 34, 56, 61, 62, 77, 131, 159, 303(1)(k), and 350-j of the New York Social Services Law, and Sections 352.6(f), 370.3, 372.4, and 397.5(k) of Title 18 of the New York Codes, Rules and Regulations.