(Bloomberg) --New York City is betting that a slate of changes to housing policy announced Monday will help struggling New Yorkers afford rent in one of the most expensive cities in the world.
Mayor Eric Adams said the city would aim to expand eligibility and use of a rental-assistance program known as the City Family Homelessness and Eviction Prevention Supplement, including by paying landlords in expensive neighborhoods who rent to voucher-holders a bonus of about one month’s rent.
Adams said at a briefing on Monday that more than half of New York’s federal housing vouchers for the poor are used in just 10% of the city’s neighborhoods.
“We have to change that,” he said of the city initiative.
CityFHEPS offers subsidized housing allowances to families or individuals who meet certain requirements, such as working 30 hours a week and having income that doesn’t exceed 200% of the federal poverty limit, or around $55,500 for a family of four.
Between August 2021 and July of this year, the Department of Social Services placed around 204 families with children in CityFHEPS housing a month on average, according to city Comptroller Brad Lander.
The new housing initiative, which is set to cost $23.7 million over two years, will allow participants in CityFHEPS to use the vouchers for more expensive apartments, and enable more individuals to qualify for vouchers, including single adults working minimum-wage jobs, even if they slightly exceed the income limit, and families that work 14 hours a week.
New York is also investing about $1.6 million over the next two years in a pilot program that will transition about 80 homeless individuals into supportive housing, Adams said at the briefing.
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