New York City Council Header
File #: Res 0123-2014    Version: Name: State budget which does not bar NYC from using State reimbursements for rental subsidy programs for the homeless.
Type: Resolution Status: Adopted
Committee: Committee on General Welfare
On agenda: 3/12/2014
Enactment date: Law number:
Title: Resolution calling on the New York State Assembly and Senate to pass, and the Governor to sign, a State budget which does not bar the City of New York from using State reimbursements for rental subsidy programs for the homeless, and calling on the City of New York and State of New York to work together to create a rental subsidy program for the homeless.
Sponsors: Ruben Wills, Stephen T. Levin, Vanessa L. Gibson, Annabel Palma, Chaim M. Deutsch, Andrew Cohen, Carlos Menchaca, Corey D. Johnson, Brad S. Lander, Mark Levine, Antonio Reynoso, Margaret S. Chin, Rosie Mendez, James G. Van Bramer, Helen K. Rosenthal, Inez D. Barron, Elizabeth S. Crowley, Laurie A. Cumbo, Inez E. Dickens, Mathieu Eugene, Vincent J. Gentile, David G. Greenfield
Council Member Sponsors: 22
Attachments: 1. Res. No. 123 - 3/12/14, 2. Committee Report, 3. Hearing Testimony, 4. Hearing Transcript, 5. Hearing Transcript - Stated Meeting 3-26-14, 6. Minutes of the Stated Meeting - March 26, 2014
Res. No. 123-A
 
 
Resolution calling on the New York State Assembly and Senate to pass, and the Governor to sign, a State budget which does not bar the City of New York from using State reimbursements for rental subsidy programs for the homeless, and calling on the City of New York and State of New York to work together to create a rental subsidy program for the homeless.
 
 
By Council Members Wills, Levin, Gibson, Palma, Deutsch, Cohen, Menchaca, Johnson, Lander, Levine, Reynoso, Chin, Mendez, Van Bramer, Rosenthal, Barron, Crowley, Cumbo, Dickens, Eugene, Gentile and Greenfield
 
Whereas, The total population of New York City's Department of Homeless Services (DHS) shelter system has risen over the past ten years from 38,468 in February 2004 according to the Coalition for the Homeless, to 52,261, according to the latest data available from DHS; and
Whereas, Over half of the current DHS shelter population are members of families with children; and
Whereas, The average length of stay in a shelter increased by 11 percent for families with children, and by 13 percent for adult families in 2013; and
Whereas, The percentage of individuals who return to a shelter within one year of leaving also increased for individuals, and families with and without children in 2013; and
Whereas, Beginning in 2007, many homeless families were able to leave the shelter system with the help of Advantage, New York City's rental subsidy program, which was partially funded by allocations from the New York State budget; and
Whereas, However, in 2011, the New York State Legislature and Governor placed restrictions on how the City could allocate State funding for rental subsidy programs in an effort to cut costs; and
Whereas, In light of these restrictions, the City ended the Advantage program, removing one of the most effective options families had for leaving the shelter system; and
Whereas, With the end of Advantage, the shelter population increased dramatically, rising by over 10,000 individuals between January 2011 and January 2013, according to the Coalition for the Homeless; and
Whereas, A spokesperson for Mayor Bill de Blasio recently called the reintroduction of some form of rental subsidy "a priority for the mayor," according to the Wall Street Journal; and
Whereas, With the State Assembly and Senate set to pass a new budget in the coming weeks, there is an opportunity to reinstate funding for a rental subsidy program in New York City; and
Whereas, The State budget bill, which allocates State aid to localities, currently bars cities with populations over five million, like New York City, from paying for rental assistance subsidies with State funding unless said subsidies are explicitly aimed at preventing eviction; and
Whereas, As Advantage was aimed not at eviction prevention, but at assisting families in shelter to leave the shelter system, State funding cannot currently be used to support Advantage or a similar program; and
Whereas, Denying the City flexibility in how it allocates State funding for rental assistance to homeless families prevents families from leaving the shelter system and contributes to New York City's homelessness crisis; and
Whereas, The City and State should work together to create a rental subsidy program that is robust enough in both scale and scope to effectively combat the current homelessness crisis; and
Whereas, The State budget should include funding for a rent subsidy that shall use Federal, State, and City funding to establish a program designed to help families prepare, transition, and connect to resources for long-term independence; now, therefore be it
Resolved, That the Council of the City of New York calls on the New York State Assembly and Senate to pass, and the Governor to sign, a State budget which does not bar the City of New York from using State reimbursements for rental subsidy programs for the homeless, and calling on the City of New York and State of New York to work together to create a rental subsidy program for the homeless.
 
PD/AV
LS#925
3/19/13