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Adopted Rules: Closed to Comments

Adopted Rules Content: 

Statement of Basis and Purpose

 

In order to implement the Mayor’s priority of preventing homelessness and moving households 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) issues this rule amending Chapters 7 and 8 of Title 68 of the Rules of the City of New York to authorize HRA to:

 

(1)  make the Living in Communities Family and Friend Reunification Rental Assistance Program (LINC VI) available to homeless single adults and adult families without minor children.   By expanding the eligibility criteria for LINC VI to include homeless single adults and adult families, HRA and DHS will help additional households relocate to housing with families and friends in the community. This expansion of LINC VI provides an important new option for homeless single adults and adult families that will increase the number of exits from and reduce the number of entries to shelter, helping to address and alleviate demands on the shelter system.

 

(2)  allow households in receipt of LINC VI to receive LINC I, II, III, IV, or V rental assistance or CITYFEPS rent supplements if such households otherwise meet initial eligibility requirements for such programs but for the fact that they are not currently residing in shelter.  With this change, households that may be able to stay temporarily with host families will not lose the opportunity to obtain other forms of rental assistance, and they will also be able to exit shelter while they search for stable, long-term housing.  This change will increase participation in the LINC VI program and ultimately increase households’ ability to avoid re-entry into shelter. 

 

These amendments were implemented via an emergency rule that was issued on September 2, 2015.  A proposed rule to make the program permanent was published on November 2, 2015.  The final rule includes some additional technical amendments but does not otherwise differ from the proposed rule.

 

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 and sections 603 and 1043 of the New York City Charter. 

 

Effective Date: 
Fri, 01/29/2016

Adopted Rules: Closed to Comments

Adopted Rules Content: 

Statement of Basis and Purpose of Rule

In order to implement the Mayor’s priority of assisting families and individuals experiencing homelessness in securing and maintaining stable and permanent housing in the community, the Commissioner of the New York City Human Resources Administration (HRA) adds Chapter 9 to Title 68 of the Rules of the City of New York to continue implementation of the HRA HOME Tenant-Based Rental Assistance (HRA HOME TBRA) Program. The program, which was established by emergency rule issued on July 31, 2015, will provide rental assistance to a limited number of families with children, adult families and pregnant women currently residing in New York City Department of Homeless Services (DHS) and HRA shelters, as well as chronically street homeless individuals. To be eligible, households must be in receipt of supplemental security income, social security disability insurance benefits, social security survivors insurance benefits or social security retirement benefits.  This rule is substantially similar to the proposed final rule that was published for public comment, but includes a number of technical or clarifying revisions, including adding the rule’s provisions to Chapter 9 rather than Chapter 10, and clarifying that HRA’s administrative appeals process is not available to challenge determinations based on lack of funding for the HRA HOME TBRA program.

There is an urgent need for this program.  Shelter census data shows that the number of families with children and adult families in the DHS shelter system remains extremely high, even taking into account the hundreds of families who have already been able to leave shelter under existing HRA rental assistance programs.

Specifically, between January 1, 2002 and December 31, 2013 the number of families with children in the DHS shelter system increased by 63 percent, including an 80 percent increase in the number of children. Similarly, the number of adult families in the DHS shelter system increased by 59 percent between July 1, 2004 and December 31, 2013.

As of November 10, 2015, there were 12,082 families with children in the DHS shelter system, including 23,462 children, as well as 2,170 adult families, comprised of 4,544 individuals.  As shelter census has increased, the DHS shelter system has continued to experience extremely low vacancy rates. Indeed, on September 23, 2015, the vacancy rate for shelters for families with children was 0.84 percent and the vacancy rate for adult family shelters was 0.48 percent.

Census data also demonstrates the urgent need for an additional program available to chronically street homeless individuals. In addition to the men and women in DHS shelters for single adults and adult families, the City estimates that as of January 2015 there were over 3,000 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 in receipt of various forms of social security benefits.  Households in receipt of such benefits comprise approximately 24 percent of the families with children and approximately 40 percent of the adult families in the City shelter system. A number of individuals served in DHS Street Homeless Programs who are in receipt of social security benefits may also benefit from this program.

Over a two-year period, the HRA HOME TBRA Program will assist approximately 1,250 households to obtain permanent housing and become securely housed in the community.  

HRA’s authority for this rule may be found in Sections 92.205 and 92.209 of Title 24 of the Code of Federal Regulations; the City of New York’s Consolidated Plan, promulgated pursuant to Part 91 of Title 24 of the Code of Federal Regulations and approved by the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development on May 29, 2015; 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. 

Effective Date: 
Mon, 11/30/2015

Adopted Rules: Closed to Comments

Adopted Rules Content: 

Statement of Basis and Purpose

In order to implement the Mayor’s priority of preventing homelessness and moving adults from shelter into stable housing, in a joint effort with the Commissioner of the Department of Homeless Services (DHS), the Commissioner of the New York City Human Resources Administration (HRA) amends Chapter 8 of Title 68 of the Rules of the City of New York to continue the implementation of a new rental assistance program.  The Special Exit and Prevention Supplement (“SEPS”) program, which was established by emergency rule issued on August 26, 2015, is available to certain single adults and adult families who are homeless or at risk of homelessness, including veterans, those who have lost or are losing housing as a result of an eviction proceeding, a foreclosure proceeding, a City agency vacate order, or for health and safety reasons, adults in DHS shelter who were in foster care or a residential institutional facility prior to entering shelter, and survivors of domestic violence who have reached their maximum length of stay in HRA shelter or who are in DHS shelter, but have not refused placement in an HRA shelter.  A proposed rule to make the program permanent was published on October 16, 2015.  The only non-technical change that has been made from the proposed rule is that this final rule gives HRA the ability to change the time period in which single adults currently in DHS shelter must have resided in shelter to be eligible for the program.

The need for the SEPS program is established by census data from DHS showing that the number of single adults and adult families in the DHS shelter system remains high, while the DHS shelter system for these populations experiences low vacancy rates.  

Specifically, between July 1, 2004 and December 31, 2013, the number of adult families in the DHS shelter system increased by 59 percent. Similarly, there was a 20 percent increase in the average daily census for single adults during the same time period.

As of November 13, 2015, 17,246 individuals in total were in DHS shelters for single adults and adult families. As shelter census has increased, the DHS shelter system has continued to experience extremely low vacancy rates. For example, on October 9, 2015, the vacancy rate for adult family shelters was 0.11 percent and the vacancy rate for single adult shelters was 0.7 percent.

Further, the City is currently faced with the critical need to find stable housing for hundreds of individuals who have been required to leave “three-quarter housing” for health and safety reasons.  Many of these individuals are currently occupying temporary housing pending relocation to permanent housing and are at risk of shelter entry if permanent, affordable housing cannot be found.  SEPS is urgently needed to provide rental assistance for many of these individuals to enable them to avoid entry into the DHS shelter system and relocate to stable housing.

SEPS provides an important new option for single adults and adult families who are homeless or at risk of homelessness that will allow more people to move from shelter to stable housing and decrease the number of entries to shelter, helping to reduce demands on the shelter system.

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.  

 

Effective Date: 
Thu, 12/24/2015

Adopted Rules: Closed to Comments

Adopted Rules Content: 

 

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) makes 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 makes 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 rule.)  These amendments 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 rule.)  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 decreases 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 have an incentive to enter into leases with those households, permitting the households to exit shelter while remaining in the same housing units. This provides more stability for such households and avoids 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 rule.) These amendments 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. (The other HRA rental assistance programs targeted to families with children 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 rule.)

 

 

 

·         Clarify that heat and hot water must be included in rent. (See sections 9, 13 and 20 of the 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 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 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 of the rule.) 

HRA’s authority for this 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. 

Effective Date: 
Thu, 11/19/2015

Proposed Rules: Closed to Comments

Agency:
Comment By: 
Friday, December 11, 2015
Proposed Rules Content: 

Statement of Basis and Purpose of Proposed Rule

 

In order to implement the Mayor’s priority of preventing homelessness and moving households 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) issues this proposed rule amending Chapter 7 of Title 68 of the Rules of the City of New York to authorize HRA to:

 

(1)  make the Living in Communities Family and Friend Reunification Rental Assistance Program (LINC VI) available to homeless single adults and adult families without minor children.   By expanding the eligibility criteria for LINC VI to include homeless single adults and adult families, HRA and DHS will help additional households relocate to housing with families and friends in the community. This expansion of LINC VI provides an important new option for homeless single adults and adult families that will increase the number of exits from and reduce the number of entries to shelter, helping to address and alleviate demands on the shelter system.

 

 

(2)  allow households in receipt of LINC VI to receive LINC I, II, III, IV, or V rental assistance or CITYFEPS rent supplements if such households otherwise meet initial eligibility requirements for such programs but for the fact that they are not currently residing in shelter.  With this change, households that may be able to stay temporarily with host families will not lose the opportunity to obtain other forms of rental assistance, and they will also be able to exit shelter while they search for stable, long-term housing.  This change will increase participation in the LINC VI program and ultimately increase households’ ability to avoid re-entry into shelter. 

 

These amendments are currently being implemented via an emergency rule that was issued on September 2, 2015.  This proposed rule, if adopted, will make these changes permanent.

 

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 and sections 603 and 1043 of the New York City Charter. 

 

Subject: 

Amendment of LINC VI Program

Location: 
Spector Hall
22 Reade Street, First Floor
New York, NY 10007
Contact: 
Download Copy of Proposed Rule (.pdf): 

Proposed Rules: Closed to Comments (View Public Comments Received:2)

Agency:
Comment By: 
Tuesday, November 17, 2015
Proposed Rules Content: 

Statement of Basis and Purpose of Proposed Rule

 

Statement of Basis and Purpose of Rule

 

In order to implement the Mayor’s priority of preventing homelessness and moving adults from shelter into stable housing, in a joint effort with the Commissioner of the Department of Homeless Services (DHS), the Commissioner of the New York City Human Resources Administration (HRA) proposes to amend Chapter 8 of Title 68 of the Rules of the City of New York to continue the implementation of a new rental assistance program.  The Special Exit and Prevention Supplement (“SEPS”) program, which was established by emergency rule issued on August 26, 2015, is available to certain single adults and adult families who are homeless or at risk of homelessness, including veterans, adults who are residing in DHS shelters who have lost or are losing housing as a result of an eviction proceeding, a foreclosure proceeding, a City agency vacate order, or for health and safety reasons, or who were in a residential institutional facility prior to entering shelter, or who have been certified by HRA as survivors of domestic violence.

 

This proposed rule differs from the emergency rule establishing the SEPS program in the following ways:

 

·         This proposed rule does not include a requirement, included in the emergency rule, that veterans currently in single adult shelters have resided in shelter at some point between May 1, 2015 and July 31, 2015; 

 

·         Consistent with an emergency rule issued on September 2, 2015, the proposed rule allows a household in receipt of rental assistance under the Living in Communities (“LINC”) VI program to receive SEPS if the household meets the initial eligibility requirements for SEPS, except for the requirement that the household currently reside in shelter;  

 

·         Consistent with corresponding amendments to the LINC programs and the City Family Eviction Prevention Supplement Program and the City Family Exit Plan Supplement Program (“CITYFEPS programs”), this proposed rule includes provisions authorizing HRA to: (1) increase the maximum rents 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 in the programs; and (2) 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.  Additionally, consistent with the amendments to the LINC and CITYFEPS programs, this proposed rule clarifies how the rent supplement amount is calculated; and

 

·         This proposed rule includes minor technical (non-substantive) amendments clarifying the timeframe for requesting a review conference or administrative appeal.

 

The continued need for the SEPS program is established by census data from DHS showing that the number of single adults and adult families in the DHS shelter system remains high, while the DHS shelter system for these populations experiences low vacancy rates. 

 

Specifically, between July 1, 2004 and December 31, 2013, the number of adult families in the DHS shelter system increased by 59 percent. Similarly, there was a 20 percent increase in the average daily census for single adults during the same time period.  As of October 9, 2015, 16,860 individuals in total were in DHS shelters for single adults and adult families.

 

As shelter census has increased, the DHS shelter system has continued to experience extremely low vacancy rates. Indeed, on October 9, 2015, the vacancy rate for adult family shelters was 0.11 percent and the vacancy rate for single adult shelters was 0.7 percent. DHS anticipates further strain on the single adult and adult family shelter system in the coming months.

 

Further, the City is currently faced with the critical need to find stable housing for hundreds of individuals who have been required to leave “three-quarter housing” for health and safety reasons.  Many of these individuals are currently occupying temporary housing pending relocation to permanent housing and are at risk of shelter entry if permanent, affordable housing cannot be found.  SEPS is urgently needed to provide rental assistance for many of these individuals to enable them to avoid entry into the DHS shelter system and relocate to stable housing.

 

SEPS provides an important new option for single adults and adult families who are homeless or at risk of homelessness that will allow more people to move from shelter to stable housing and decrease the number of entries to shelter, helping to reduce demands on the shelter system.

 

HRA’s authority for this emergency 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. 

 

 

Subject: 

Special Exit and Prevention Supplement (SEPS) Program

Location: 
Spector Hall
22 Reade Street First Floor
New York , NY 10007
Contact: 

Proposed Rules: Closed to Comments

Agency:
Comment By: 
Thursday, November 12, 2015
Proposed Rules Content: 

Statement of Basis and Purpose of Proposed Rule

 

In order to implement the Mayor’s priority of assisting families and individuals experiencing homelessness in securing and maintaining stable and permanent housing in the community, the Commissioner of the New York City Human Resources Administration (HRA) proposes to add Chapter 10 to Title 68 of the Rules of the City of New York to continue implementation of the HRA HOME Tenant-Based Rental Assistance (HRA HOME TBRA) Program. The program, which was established by emergency rule issued on July 31, 2015, will provide rental assistance to a limited number of families with children, adult families and pregnant women currently residing in New York City Department of Homeless Services (DHS) and HRA shelters, as well as chronically street homeless individuals. To be eligible, households must be in receipt of supplemental security income, social security disability insurance benefits, social security survivors insurance benefits or social security retirement benefits.  This proposed rule is substantially similar to the emergency rule, but clarifies a number of provisions, including those addressing the household’s contribution towards the rent and absences from a unit towards which HRA HOME TBRA assistance is being applied, and also adds a section addressing break-ups of applicant and participant households. 

 

There is an urgent need for this program.  Shelter census data shows that the number of families with children and adult families in the DHS shelter system remains extremely high, even taking into account the hundreds of families who have already been able to leave shelter under existing HRA rental assistance programs.

 

Specifically, between January 1, 2002 and December 31, 2013 the number of families with children in the DHS shelter system increased by 63 percent, including an 80 percent increase in the number of children. As of May 29, 2015, there were 11,689 families with children in the DHS shelter system, including 23,331 children.  Similarly, the number of adult families in the DHS shelter system increased by 59 percent between July 1, 2004 and December 31, 2013.

As shelter census has increased, the DHS shelter system has continued to experience extremely low vacancy rates. Indeed, on September 23, 2015, the vacancy rate for shelters for families with children was 0.84 percent and the vacancy rate for adult family shelters was 0.48 percent.

 

Census data also demonstrates the urgent need for an additional program available to chronically street homeless individuals. In addition to the men and women in DHS shelters for single adults and adult families, the City estimates that as of January 2015 there were over 3,000 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 in receipt of various forms of social security benefits.  Households in receipt of such benefits comprise approximately 24 percent of the families with children and approximately 40 percent of the adult families in the City shelter system. A number of individuals served in DHS Street Homeless Programs who are in receipt of social security benefits may also benefit from this program.

 

Over a two-year period, the HRA HOME TBRA Program will assist approximately 1,250 households to obtain permanent housing and become securely housed in the community.  

 

HRA’s authority for this proposed rule may be found in Sections 92.205 and 92.209 of Title 24 of the Code of Federal Regulations; the City of New York’s Consolidated Plan, promulgated pursuant to Part 91 of Title 24 of the Code of Federal Regulations and approved by the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development on May 29, 2015; 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.

 

“Shall” and “must” denote mandatory requirements and may be used interchangeably in the rules of this department, unless otherwise specified or unless the context clearly indicates otherwise.

 

 

 

Subject: 

HRA Home Tenant -Based Rental Assistance Program

Location: 
Spector Hall
22 Reade Street First Floor
New York , NY 10007
Contact: 

Proposed Rules: Closed to Comments (View Public Comments Received:1)

Agency:
Comment By: 
Tuesday, October 6, 2015
Proposed Rules Content: 

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. 

 

Subject: 

Miscellaneous Ammendments Relating to the LINC and CITYFEPS Programs

Location: 
Spector Hall
22 Reade Street First Floor
New York , NY 10007
Contact: 

Adopted Rules: Closed to Comments

Adopted Rules Content: 

Statement of Basis and Purpose

 

In order to implement the Mayor’s priority of preventing homelessness and moving families with children into stable housing, the Commissioner of the New York City Human Resources Administration (HRA) adds Chapter 8 to Title 68 of the Rules of the City of New York to continue the implementation of two new rent supplement programs:  the City Family Eviction Prevention Supplement Program and the City Family Exit Plan Supplement Program (collectively, the “CITYFEPS Programs”).  These programs, which were designed in consultation with the Commissioner of the New York City Department of Homeless Services (DHS) and established by emergency rule issued on April 17, 2015, provide a monthly rent supplement to families with children who are in receipt of Public Assistance benefits from HRA and who have lost or are losing their housing as a result of an eviction proceeding, a foreclosure proceeding, a City agency vacate order, domestic violence, or other health and safety reasons, or who currently reside in a DHS shelter that has been identified for imminent closure.  The supplement enables families to rent apartments at competitive market-rate rents based on 2014 New York City Housing Authority Section 8 Voucher Payment Standards. The emergency rule was limited to families with children, but under the final permanent rule, the program will also be available to pregnant women.

 

There is an urgent need for these programs.  Shelter census data shows that the number of families with children in the DHS shelter system is at a record high, even taking into account the hundreds of families who have already been able to leave shelter under existing HRA rental assistance programs targeted to families with children.

 

Specifically, between January 1, 2002 and December 31, 2013, the number of families with children in the DHS shelter system increased by 63%, including an 80% increase in the number of children. As of April 6, 2015, there were 11,766 families in the DHS shelter system, including 23,816 children. There are nearly 3,000 families with children currently in DHS shelter as a result of eviction.  The increase in the shelter census is primarily because the length of stay of families in shelter has increased while the number of exits has declined. For example, the length of stay in shelter for families with children increased approximately 20% between August 2012 and December 2013.

As shelter census and length-of-stay rates have increased, the DHS shelter system for families with children continues to experience extremely low vacancy rates. Indeed, on April 8, 2015, the vacancy rate for families with children in the shelter system was .72%. Although 1,566 units have been added to the shelter system for families with children between April 8, 2013 and April 8, 2015, the system continues to experience high capacity levels due to the decline in vacancy rates.

 

Census data also demonstrates the urgent need for an additional program available to families whose lives have recently been affected by domestic violence. As of April 3, 2015, there were 1,021 households, including 1,570 children, in HRA domestic violence shelters, and more than 725 families in the DHS shelter system were survivors of domestic violence certified by HRA.

 

Finally, there are a number of shelters for families with children that have been identified for imminent closure. Providing a rent supplement is the best way to enable families in these shelters to be rapidly re-housed with as little disruption as possible.  Providing a rent supplement to families in a closing shelter, rather than relocating such families to another shelter, will allow them to exit the shelter system and remain in the community where the shelter is located. This will permit stability and continuity in connection with schools, jobs, and community resources and services.

Over a twelve-month period, the CITYFEPS Programs will assist approximately 1,000 families with children and pregnant women to secure permanent housing in the community. Subject to the availability of funding, the rent supplements will be continued indefinitely for these families so long as they remain eligible for these programs.

 

A public hearing regarding the proposed CITYFEPS rule was held on July 9, 2015.  Although no public comments were received, the final version of the rule includes provisions not included in the proposed rule, clarifying that a) HRA will not maintain a waitlist for the CITYFEPS programs, b) households must continue to be eligible for public assistance upon exit from shelter in order to be eligible for the CITYFEPS programs, and c) HRA shall provide to households, including those moving from shelter, moving expenses, a security deposit voucher equal to one month’s rent, and a broker’s fee equal to up to one month’s rent where available under section 352.6 of Title 18 of the New York Codes, Rules and Regulations. Additionally, an inapplicable provision that had been inadvertently included in section 8-04 of the proposed rule has been deleted.

 

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. 

 

 

Effective Date: 
Fri, 08/14/2015

Adopted Rules: Closed to Comments

Adopted Rules Content: 

Statement of Basis and Purpose of 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 amends 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 amendments to the provisions of Chapter 7 concerning LINC III:

 

·         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.

 

·         Enable households who have lost their Public Assistance for reasons other than increased income or due to a sanction and subsequently have their Public Assistance reinstated within a year to also have their LINC III rental assistance restored.  This is a new amendment that was not included in the proposed rule.

 

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 who have resided in shelter for at least 90 consecutive days and 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.”  Under the proposed rule, the program was only available to clients currently in shelter with shelter stays of at least 90 days.  The final rule extends initial eligibility to those who have recently exited shelter after a stay of 90 days or more and are reapplying for shelter.  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. 

 

“Shall” and “must” denote mandatory requirements and may be used interchangeably in the rules of this department, unless otherwise specified or unless the context clearly indicates otherwise.

Effective Date: 
Mon, 07/13/2015

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