Miscellaneous Amendments Relating to the LINC and CITYFEPS Programs
Proposed Rules: Closed to Comments (View Public Comments Received:1)
Statement of Basis and Purpose
To implement the Mayor’s priority of preventing homelessness and 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) proposes to make various changes to the Living in Communities (LINC) Rental Assistance Programs and the City Family Eviction Prevention Supplement and City Family Exit Plan Supplement (CITYFEPS) Programs. Specifically, HRA proposes the following amendments to Chapters 7 and 8 of Title 68 of the Rules of the City of New York:
- Authorize HRA to increase the maximum rents in the LINC I, LINC II, LINC III, LINC IV, LINC V and CITYFEPS programs for households with five or more individuals where HRA has determined that they are unlikely to secure housing within the next 90 days at the rents otherwise permitted under the rule. (See sections 4, 5, 11 and 18 of the proposed rule.) Currently, there is an emergency rule in effect that authorizes HRA to make such increases, notwithstanding the existing provisions of Chapters 7 and 8. The amendments proposed in this rule will allow HRA to continue to ensure that existing rental assistance programs can compete in the New York real estate market.
- Authorize HRA to pay one year of rental assistance payments in advance to a landlord who has entered into a lease with a program participant for a unit that was used as DHS shelter immediately prior to lease signing. (See sections 4, 6, 11 and 17 of the proposed rule.) Currently, there is an emergency rule in effect that authorizes HRA to make such payments, notwithstanding the existing provisions of Chapters 7 and 8. The ability of HRA to offer upfront payments in connection with rental assistance programs provides an incentive to landlords to accept LINC and CITYFEPS payments for units currently used as DHS shelter, which will decrease the number of households living in DHS shelter while returning much needed affordable housing units to the New York City housing market. When such units are currently occupied by households that are eligible for LINC or CITYFEPS, landlords will have an incentive to enter into leases with those households, which will permit the households to exit shelter while remaining in the same housing units. This will provide more stability for such households and avoid the need to transfer them to other shelter placements while they search for available apartments.
- Extend LINC I, II, III and VI, which are currently limited to families with children, to pregnant women. (See sections 1-3, 7 and 14 of the proposed rule.) These amendments will allow otherwise eligible households consisting solely of a pregnant woman to participate in the LINC I, II, III and VI programs, rather than having to wait until after the birth of the baby to move from shelter into housing to which LINC rental assistance can be applied. (LINC IV and V and CITYFEPS are already available to households consisting solely of a pregnant woman.)
- Increase the time within which someone may appeal from a hearing officer’s decision from five business days from delivery of the decision to fifteen business days from when HRA sends the decision. (See sections 8, 12, 15 and 19 of the proposed rule.)
- Clarify that heat and hot water must be included in rent. (See sections 9, 13 and 20 of the proposed rule.)
- Clarify that any residence towards which LINC I, II or III rental assistance is applied must be located within New York City. (See section 10 of the proposed rule.) (The rules governing LINC IV, V and VI and CITYFEPS already include provisions limiting rental assistance to residences located within New York City.)
In addition, the proposed rule includes a number of technical amendments to the provisions describing how rental assistance amounts and program participant contributions are calculated. (See sections 4, 7 and 11). Finally, HRA proposes to repeal Chapter 9 of Title 68 of the Rules of the City of New York, because this proposed rule incorporates the provisions currently in Chapter 9 into Chapters 7 and 8 of Title 68 of the Rules of the City of New York. (See section 21 of the proposed rule.)
HRA’s authority for this proposed rule is provided by sections 34, 56, 61, 62, 77, and 131 of the New York Social Services Law and sections 603 and 1043 of the New York City Charter, subject to State approval, which is pending.