Living in Communities Rental Assistance Programs: LINC VI and Amendments to LINC III
Proposed Rules: Closed to Comments
Statement of Basis and Purpose of Proposed Rule
In order to implement the Mayor’s priority of moving households 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) has established six Living in Communities (LINC) Rental Assistance Programs. The LINC I, II, III and VI programs are specifically targeted to families with children residing in shelters operated by or on behalf of DHS or HRA, while the LINC IV and V programs are targeted to single adults and adult families residing in DHS shelter, on the streets, or at risk of entry into DHS shelter.
HRA now proposes to amend Chapter 7 of Title 68 of the Rules of the City of New York by: (1) amending certain provisions concerning the LINC III Rental Assistance Program; and (2) adding a new subchapter C continuing the LINC VI Family and Friend Reunification Rental Assistance Program, which was established by emergency rule issued on March 13, 2015.
Amendments to Certain Provisions Concerning the LINC III Program
The LINC III Rental Assistance Program was established by emergency rule in September 2014, and a final rule concerning the program was adopted in December 2014 and became effective in January 2015.
The LINC III program provides rental assistance to families with children in HRA and DHS shelter whom HRA has certified as victims of domestic violence. Under current initial and continued eligibility requirements, a household must be in receipt of Public Assistance and include a child in order to initially receive and continue to receive LINC III rental assistance.
The proposed rule would authorize HRA to:
· Continue to pay rental assistance on behalf of survivors of domestic violence even if they secure employment and become ineligible for Public Assistance, or if their household no longer includes a child. These amendments will prevent survivors of domestic violence and their families from re-entering shelter.
· Under some circumstances, permit members of LINC III households who are not on Public Assistance to contribute a portion of their income to rents higher than they would otherwise be permitted under the current rule. This flexibility would be similar to that provided by the existing Family Eviction Prevention Supplement program administered by New York State. This amendment will allow more families to be able to relocate from shelter to permanent housing.
Finally, this proposed rule includes a number of technical amendments to the provisions relating to the LINC III program.
The LINC VI Family and Friend Reunification Rental Assistance Program
The LINC VI Family and Friend Reunification Rental Assistance Program, established by emergency rule in March 2015, helps relocate families currently residing in shelter to housing with friends and relatives. Over a twelve-month period, the program will assist approximately 500 families with children. The program is available on a first-come first-served basis to families in shelter for at least 90 consecutive days who can identify a household consisting of relatives or friends willing to host them; rental assistance will be provided on behalf of LINC VI program participants to these “host families.” The program will be subject to a review of annual funding.
The proposed Subchapter C pertaining to the LINC VI program sets forth:
- definitions applicable to the subchapter;
- a general description of responsibility for program administration and eligibility determinations;
- eligibility and renewal requirements;
- a description of how the monthly rental assistance amounts are calculated;
- review and appeal procedures; and
- additional provisions, including a description of certain program benefits as well as requirements for program participants and participating host families.
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 section 352.6 of Title 18 of the New York Codes, Rules and Regulations.