CITYFHEPS

Proposed Rules: Closed to Comments (View Public Comments Received:4)

Agency:
Comment By: 
Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Statement of Basis and Purpose of Rule

Sections 603 and 1043 of the City Charter, Sections 34, 56, 61, 62, 77, and 131-a of the New York Social Services Law authorize HRA to make this proposed rule.

Background

In September 2014, the City launched the Living in Communities (LINC) I, II and III rental assistance programs, targeting families with children in New York City Department of Homeless Services (DHS) and New York City Human Resources Administration (HRA) shelters.  These were followed by the LINC IV and V programs for single adults and adult families in shelter or at risk of entry to shelter, the LINC VI program, which provides rental assistance to households in shelter who are able to move in with family and friends, the City Family Eviction Prevention Supplement and City Family Exit Plan Supplement (CITYFEPS) programs, the Special Exit and Prevention Supplement (SEPS) program and the HRA HOME Tenant-Based Rental Assistance Program (HRA HOME TBRA).  In total, these programs, together with other City rehousing initiatives, have helped over 87,000 people exit or avoid entering a City shelter. 

In September 2017, the court in Tejada v. Roberts, Index No. 453245/2015 (Sup. Ct., NY County), so-ordered a settlement that paved the way for the New York State Family Eviction Prevention Supplement (FEPS) program to be replaced by an expanded program with higher rent supplement levels called the Family Homelessness & Eviction Prevention Supplement (FHEPS) program.  Many of the families in HRA’s CITYFEPS program and most of the families in the LINC III program were transferred to FHEPS in December 2017.

In order to more effectively and efficiently administer the various City-funded rental assistance programs targeted to households in or at risk of entry to shelter and align City rental assistance more closely with State FHEPS, HRA now proposes CITYFHEPS, a single streamlined program that will replace the existing LINC I, II, IV and V programs, the SEPS program, and what remains of the LINC III and CITYFEPS programs.  HRA is working to combat source of income discrimination and resistance to subsidized vouchers in the housing market, and a streamlined program will advance this goal.

Households not currently receiving other City rental assistance who meet the initial eligibility requirements of CITYFHEPS will have the opportunity to secure a unit with CITYFHEPS as of the effective date of this rule.  Households who are currently receiving other City rental assistance will be transferred to CITYFHEPS and the old programs will be phased out, with no new households enrolling in those programs after the effective date of this rule.* With the exception of households currently participating in LINC VI, households participating in the LINC, CITYFEPS and SEPS programs will be transferred to the CITYFHEPS program so long as they are income-eligible and continue to reside in the unit towards which their LINC, CITYFEPS or SEPS rental assistance is currently being applied (or they have been approved by HRA to move to a new unit).**

Summary of Provisions

The new chapter 10 will accomplish the following:

-- Set forth definitions relevant to the administration of the new CITYFHEPS program.

-- Set forth eligibility requirements for city residents.  These are different depending on (among other things) whether a household is in shelter.

-- Allow for HRA to designate “CITYFHEPS qualifying programs” from which it will accept referrals to avert entry to shelter or shorten the stay of a household already in shelter.

-- Set forth the maximum monthly rents and rental assistance payment amounts for various types of housing.  The maximum apartment rents will be indexed to any annual rent increases set by the NYC Rent Guidelines Board.

-- Set forth renewal criteria beyond the first year of the program, such as allowing renewal beyond five years under certain circumstances.

-- Allow adjustments to be made to the payment amounts when circumstances have changed.

-- Provide for an orderly transition from the existing rental assistance programs (LINC, SEPS, and CITYFEPS) to the new CITYFHEPS.

-- Set forth landlord and participant requirements for continued participation in the program.

-- Set forth the review conference and appeal process, and various additional miscellaneous matters, such as the fact that HRA will not maintain a waitlist.

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* As the programs are phased out over the course of the next year, the rules concerning the old programs will be repealed.

** Households currently participating in LINC VI will continue in that program for so long as they remain eligible.  However, no new households will be enrolled in LINC VI.  Instead, households able to move in with host families will have the opportunity to apply to a similar program, called Pathway Home, that HRA is concurrently proposing in a different rule. 

Public Hearing
Subject: 

.CITYFHEPS Proposed Rule

Public Hearing Date: 
Tuesday, August 21, 2018 - 9:30am
Contact: 

929-221-6690

Location: 
125 Worth Street
Second Floor Auditorium
New York, NY 10013