Living in Communities Rental Assistance Programs for Single Adults and Adult Families (LINC IV and V)
Proposed Rules: Closed to Comments (View Public Comments Received:1)
Statement of Basis and Purpose of Proposed Rule
To implement the Mayor’s priority of moving adults from shelter into stable housing, the New York City Human Resources Administration (HRA) proposes to add a new subchapter to Chapter 7 of Title 68 of the Rules of the City of New York to continue implementation of two new rental assistance programs targeted to specific populations who are within the Department of Homeless Services (DHS) shelter system, on the streets, or at risk of shelter entry. This initiative is a joint effort with the DHS.
These two rental assistance programs, established by emergency rule issued on December 12, 2014, are known as the Living in Communities (“LINC”) Rental Assistance Programs for Single Adults and Adult Families. These programs assist older and low-income working adults move out of shelter or off the streets, or avert entry into shelter, by relocating them into stable housing and helping them to remain stably housed in their communities.
There is an urgent need for these programs. Shelter census data shows that the numbers of single adults and adult families in the DHS shelter system are at a record high while vacancy rates in the DHS shelter systems for these populations are at their lowest since 2009. The number of single adults and adult families in DHS shelter has increased because their length of stay has increased while fewer of them have left shelter.
Specifically, for single adults, the average daily census between July 1, 2004 and December 31, 2013 increased by 20%. In November 2014, there were on average 11,165 single adults in the DHS shelter system each day. The length of stay in shelter for single adults increased by 6% between August 2012 and December 2013. In November 2014, the vacancy rate in single adult shelters was 0.3%, compared to 4.3% in November 2013, and 3.0% in November 2012.
The number of adult families in the DHS shelter system increased by 59% between July 1, 2004 and December 31, 2013. In November 2014, there were on average 2,128 adult families in the DHS shelter system each day. The length of stay in shelter for adult families increased about 15% between August 2012 and December 2013. On November 7, 2014, the vacancy rate for adult families in the shelter system was 0%. In November 2014, the average monthly vacancy rate in adult family shelters was 0.6%, compared to 1.1% in November 2013, and 6.0% in November 2012.
In addition to the men and women in DHS’s shelters for single adults and adult families, the City estimates that as of January 2014 there were over 5,000 unsheltered individuals living on the streets, in parks, and in other public spaces of the City, including the subway system.
Finally, shelter census data also shows the urgent need for a rental assistance program targeted to those over 60, who comprise 14% of the single adult shelter population.
The LINC Rental Assistance Programs for Single Adults and Adult Families consists of two programs: LINC IV and LINC V. Over a twelve-month period, these programs will assist about 2,100 adult households to relocate from, or avoid entering, DHS shelters and become securely housed in the community. LINC IV will assist about 1,100 adult households with seniors and LINC V will assist up to 1,000 adult households that include a working adult but are unable to afford stable housing on their own. Some of the individuals who will be assisted by these programs are chronically street homeless individuals or at risk of shelter entry. The programs will be subject to an annual review of available funding.
In the two programs, the City will give priority to adults who have experienced homelessness for the longest, whether in shelter or on the streets, as well as to those who are at risk of entry into shelter and are referred by HRA’s Rental Assistance Unit or another City agency, with additional priority given in LINC IV to the oldest adults or medically frail adults, and in LINC V to adults who are working the most hours.
Specifically, the proposed rule sets forth:
- definitions applicable to the new subchapter;
- a general description of responsibility for program administration and eligibility;
- eligibility, certification, and renewal requirements;
- a description of how monthly program participant contributions and rental assistance amounts are calculated;
- provisions governing moves;
- review and appeal procedures; and,
- additional provisions, including a description of certain program benefits as well as requirements for program participants and participating landlords.
In addition, HRA is making a technical correction to § 7-07(b), which is now in Subchapter A of Chapter 7 of Title 68 of the Rules of the City of New York, to reflect that its provisions relate only to Subchapter A and not to the chapter as a whole.
HRA’s authority for this proposed 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.