Progressive Caucus Supports Home Stability Support

The New York City Council Progressive Caucus announces its support of Assembly Member Hevesi’s Home Stability Support (HSS) program, a new statewide rent supplement for families and individuals facing eviction, who are currently homeless or who have lost housing due to domestic violence or hazardous living conditions. In endorsing the HSS program proposal, the Progressive Caucus joins over 110 state assembly members, 30 city council members, six community boards, and hundreds of community organizations advocating for the measure, as well as Public Advocate Letitia James, the Independent Democratic Conference, and Congressman Joseph Crowley and Congresswoman Grace Meng.

The HSS program addresses the thousands of households that are on the brink of homelessness in New York State due to inadequate shelter allowance levels. Originally established in 1975, the shelter allowance was designed to pay the full rents of the vast majority of households on public allowance. However, the allowance has failed to keep up with the rising costs of housing. Roughly half of those receiving shelter allowances without other housing subsidies, more than 80,000 households, are placed at serious risk of becoming homeless due to shelter allowances that are far below the actual cost of housing, with rents that are 1.5 times or more than their shelter allowances.

“The Council’s Progressive Caucus enthusiastically supports the Home Stability Support proposal,” said Council Member Antonio Reynoso, co-chair of the Progressive Caucus. “This program will help address our city’s homelessness crisis, keep families in their homes, and prevent displacement, all while saving taxpayer money. It’s a smart solution and we encourage our State legislature to implement it quickly.”

“Our current homelessness crisis is the most pressing issue of our time, so we need creative, financially-sensible solutions and that is exactly what the Home Stability Support plan is,” said Council Member Donovan Richards, co-chair of the Progressive Caucus. “This plan will help more people and save more money than anything we are doing combined across the entire state. I am proud to stand with my colleagues in the city and state to support this common sense proposal that will help secure homes for tens of thousands of mothers, fathers and children throughout New York.”

“New York City is in the midst of a homelessness crisis that is severely impacting our most vulnerable residents, with currently 23,365 children are living in our city’s shelter system,” said Council Member Ben Kallos, Vice Chair for Policy of the Progressive Caucus. “We should be doing everything we can to prevent more families from ending up in already crowded shelters. The Home Stability Support program will be a much needed lifeline for families who are on the brink of losing their homes and ending up on the streets or in a shelter. New York State should adopt this proposal as a part of a serious plan to end this crisis in our state and city.”

“New York’s homeless crisis is devastating, costly, and untenable. Too many New Yorkers find themselves in perilous housing situations, and are often unable to access rent supplements that would provide home stability. Among this most vulnerable population are victims of domestic violence, who are frequently barred from receiving support through no fault of their own. The Home Stability Support program will get in front of our homeless crisis, providing rent support to those in need and preventing future evictions, all while reducing costs to taxpayers. I am proud to join my colleagues in the Progressive Caucus in supporting Assembly Member Hevesi’s Home Stability Support Program,” said Council Member Helen Rosenthal, Vice-Chair for Budget Advocacy of the Progressive Caucus.

“This vital Home Stability Support program will give families the assistance they need to stay in their homes, or to get on the road to securing housing that is affordable and safe,” said Council Member Margaret S. Chin. “The current system of shelter allowances has not kept up with the exploding cost of living in our city, and does not address the need to support families living under the constant threat of eviction and homelessness. I am proud to join my Progressive Caucus colleagues in this partnership with Assemblyman Hevesi to enact statewide relief for hardworking New Yorkers struggling to get by.”

“As homelessness reaches record highs, we need a smart, comprehensive plan to get individuals and families the housing they need,” said Council Member Corey Johnson. “That’s what Home Stability Support represents for our City and our State. I’m proud to support this sensible, compassionate and cost-effective strategy to keep families in their homes, and I thank Home Stability Support, my colleagues in the Council and the members of our State Legislature who support this crucial program.”

“Similar to my Right to Counsel legislation, the Home Stability Support program focuses on curing the homelessness epidemic by helping people stay in their homes before they’re forced onto the streets,” said Council Member Mark Levine. “To seriously and effectively address homelessness as a City, it is critical that we support programs and policies that keep people in their homes, off the streets and out of the shelter system. Investing in homeless prevention efforts are both the just and fiscally responsible thing to do, and I applaud Assemblyman Hevesi for his leadership on this issue up in Albany.”

“I am proud to join my colleagues in backing the Home Stability Support program to ensure families on the brink of homelessness are able to stay in their homes,” said Council Member Ydanis Rodriguez. “Using this crucial support can stem the tide of rising homelessness numbers and provide peace of mind to countless New Yorkers in fear of losing their place of residence.”

“Our city faces a homelessness epidemic,” said Council Majority Leader Jimmy Van Bramer. “We must use every tool at our disposal to keep families in their homes and off the street. I’m proud to join the Progressive Caucus in supporting the Home Stability Support program to reduce homelessness in our city.”

“Homelessness is at an all-time high in the City. As more and more New Yorkers struggle to find adequate housing or maintain the roofs over their heads, it’s important we do all we can to keep people off the streets. The Home Stability Support program helps some of New York’s most vulnerable with added security while they are on the verge of homelessness.  I commend the Progressive Caucus for endorsing this program that is so needed in our City,” said Council Member Jumaane D. Williams.

“Life without a place to call home is a reality for tens of thousands of New Yorkers,” said Council Member Stephen Levin. “With this proposal, we have an opportunity to come together to prevent families and individuals from losing the stability and permanence that comes with housing. Keeping individuals in their homes is not only the right thing to do on moral grounds, but in the long term it is also a much more efficient use of public resources.”

“As the homelessness and housing affordability crises continue to envelope NYC, innovative approaches must be conceived to prevent families from entering homeless shelters. The Home Stability Support program can cut red-tape, save money, combine complex rental supplements, and bring support to thousands of families that may become homeless. We need immediate assistance in NYC for families struggling to make ends meet, and the HSS program could provide necessary relief,” said Council Member Ritchie Torres.

 “There’s no question we have a homeless crisis in our city, and the most effective way to solve this issue is to prevent it before people end up in shelters or on the streets. Similar to our ongoing citywide efforts to raise the minimum wage, boost our housing supply, support veterans’ services, improve mental health care and provide civil legal services to renters facing eviction, the proposed Home Stability Support program on the state level will keep thousands of New Yorkers from entering our shelter system. By helping fill gaps in current shelter allowances, the Home Stability Support is an investment that helps people stay in their homes while saving taxpayers money in the long run,” said Council Member Deborah Rose.

 “The new Home Stability Support program saves taxpayer money, protects homes, and reduces displacement. It deserves everyone’s full support. This program promises to relieve at least a portion of the extreme housing pressure my community faces and to reduce the need for costly and ineffective homeless sheltering in hotels. New York City communities need practical solutions for our long-term, chronic and deepening housing crisis. HHS is one step in the right direction,” said Council Member Carlos Menchaca.

The HSS program will save taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars, with three key areas of saving: reduced shelter utilization, other homeless services cost savings, and prevention of future evictions. The program will replace all existing optional rent supplements to provide a new statewide rent supplement for families and individuals facing eviction, homelessness, or loss of housing due to domestic violence or hazardous conditions.  The program is 100% federally and state-funded, and will provide additional local mandate relief by replacing all existing optional rent supplements. For every household currently receiving locally funded temporary housing allowance or rent supplements that will receive state-funded HSS, there will be 100% cost savings to the locality. HSS will save taxpayers approximately $27,236 in family shelter costs per household per year, and approximately $16,060 in individual shelter costs per person per year.

Learn more about the HSS program by visiting homestabilitysupport.com.

View the full PDF press release here: home-stability-support-release

Read the NY Daily News coverage here: http://www.nydailynews.com/news/politics/progressive-group-backs-queens-pol-statewide-rent-subsidy-plan-article-1.2955908

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About nycprogressives

The Progressive Caucus of the New York City Council is dedicated to creating a more just and equal New York City, combating all forms of discrimination, and advancing public policies that offer genuine opportunity to all New Yorkers, especially those who have been left out of our society’s prosperity.
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