CityFHEPS

Adopted Rules: Closed to Comments

Agency:
Effective Date: 
Monday, October 29, 2018
Download Copy of Adopted Rule (.pdf): 

Statement of Basis and Purpose of 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 through July 2018, these programs, together with other City rehousing initiatives, have helped over 97,000 people exit or avoid entering a City shelter.

In September 2017, a so-ordered settlement in the matter of Tejada v. Roberts, Index No. 453245/2015 (Sup. Ct., NY County), paved the way for New York to replace the New York State Family Eviction Prevention Supplement (FEPS) program with 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 is now establishing the City Fighting Homelessness and Eviction Prevention Supplement (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 has been working to combat source of income discrimination and owners’ resistance to subsidized vouchers in the housing market, and a streamlined program should advance this goal by reducing misinformation and simplifying administration.

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 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 as is the case for the State FHEPS program established pursuant to the settlement in Tejada v. Roberts.
• Set forth renewal criteria beyond the first year of the program, such as allowing renewal beyond five years under certain circumstances as is the case for the State FHEPS program established pursuant to the settlement in Tejada v. Roberts.
• 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.

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

Proposed Rule: