"Living in Communities (LINC) Rental Assistance Programs"

Adopted Rules: Closed to Comments

Agency:
Effective Date: 
Friday, January 2, 2015
Download Copy of Adopted Rule (.pdf): 

Statement of Basis and Purpose of Rule

 

In order to implement the Mayor’s priority of moving families from shelter into stable housing, and in a joint effort with the Commissioner of the New York City Department of Homeless Services (DHS), the Commissioner of the New York City Human Resources Administration (HRA) is promulgating this rule to add Chapter 7 to Title 68 of the Rules of the City of New York to continue implementation of three new rental assistance programs targeted to specific populations within the City’s homeless shelter system. These three rental assistance programs, which were established by an emergency rule issued on September 5, 2014, are collectively referred to as the Living in Communities or “LINC” Rental Assistance Programs.  The purpose of these programs is to assist low-income working families, vulnerable families, and families whose lives have been affected by domestic violence move out of shelter into stable housing, and to assist those families to remain stably housed in their communities.  The LINC I and LINC II programs are joint programs of the City of New York and the State of New York.  The LINC III program is a City of New York program. 

 

HRA and DHS submitted plans concerning the LINC I and LINC II programs to the New York State Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance (OTDA) for approval in accordance with Section 352.3(a)(3) of Title 18 of the New York Codes, Rules and Regulations.  The plans were so approved by OTDA on August 1, 2014.  Because HRA is not seeking State reimbursement for the LINC III program, a plan was not submitted to OTDA for its approval.

 

The urgent need for these programs is established by census data from DHS establishing that the number of families in the DHS shelter system is at a record high.  Census data also demonstrates the urgent need for a rental assistance program targeted to families whose lives have recently been affected by domestic violence. As of June 2014, there were 1,099 families, including 1,917 children, in HRA’s domestic violence shelters.  Due to a lack of housing resources, nearly 100 families had to enter the DHS shelter system between May and July of 2014 because they had reached the maximum length of stay of 180 days in a domestic violence shelter under State regulation and had no other housing options.  As of July 2014, over 1,000 families in the DHS shelter system were survivors of domestic violence certified by HRA.

 

Subject to an annual review of available funding, the LINC Rental Assistance Programs will consist of three programs: LINC I, LINC II, and LINC III.  In the first year of the program:

 

  • LINC I will assist approximately 1,101 families in shelter who are working full-time but are unable to afford stable housing on their own to relocate from the City shelter system;

 

  • LINC II will assist approximately 970 families in shelter who are identified within vulnerable populations and who need additional assistance and supports to relocate from the City shelter system and become securely housed in the community; and

 

  • LINC III will provide rental assistance for up to 1,900 families recently affected by domestic violence to relocate them from the City shelter system, approximately 900 families in HRA domestic violence shelters and approximately 1,000 families in DHS shelters who HRA has certified as survivors of domestic violence.

 

In all three programs, priority has been and will continue to be given to families who have been in shelter the longest. 

 

The rule sets forth definitions applicable to the chapter (Section 7-01); a general description of responsibility for program administration and eligibility determinations (Section 7-02); program-specific eligibility, certification, and renewal requirements (Sections 7-03, 7-04, and 7-05); a description of how monthly program participant contributions and the monthly rental assistance amounts are calculated (Section 7-06); review and appeal procedures (Sections 7-07 and 7-08); and additional provisions, including a description of certain program benefits as well as requirements for program participants and participating landlords (Section 7-09).

 

The rule has been revised to clarify the definition of unearned income, remove references to emergency assistance to conform the rule with the plans approved by OTDA, clarify citations to applicable State regulations, and remove the description of the effect of LINC assistance on the calculation of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits because such calculation is governed by State law and accompanying regulations.  In addition, in response to a public comment, the rule was revised to describe HRA’s process related to reviewing eligibility requirements at the time of renewal and assisting households with maintaining eligibility at such time as appropriate.        

 

HRA’s authority for this rule may be found in sections 34, 56, 61, 62, 77, and 131 of the New York Social Services Law, sections 603 and 1043 of the New York City Charter, and sections 352.3(a)(3) and 352.6 of Title 18 of the New York Codes, Rules and Regulations.