In a significant move to address the severe housing shortage and record-high shelter populations in New York City, Mayor Eric Adams announced today an expansion of the City Fighting Homelessness and Eviction Prevention Supplement (CityFHEPS) rental assistance program.
This comprehensive report was contained in a press release on Wednesday September 27, 2023.
This expansion will grant New Yorkers holding CityFHEPS housing vouchers the ability to secure permanent, affordable housing not only within the city but also across the entire state of New York.
As New York City grapples with an overwhelming number of individuals seeking shelter, with over 113,000 in the city’s care, many households with housing vouchers have been unable to find permanent homes, leading to a critical housing crisis. Mayor Adams stated, “Now is the time to create new options for permanent affordable housing for New Yorkers by expanding CityFHEPS even further than this administration did earlier this year.”
Deputy Mayor for Health and Human Services Anne Williams-Isom emphasized the importance of this policy change, stating, “Today’s announcement puts more choices in the hands of New Yorkers who hold CityFHEPS vouchers by increasing the housing stock from which they can choose.”
The CityFHEPS program has been instrumental in connecting New Yorkers to permanent housing, with record placements last year. The recent elimination of the 90-day wait period for voucher eligibility has further accelerated progress. In Fiscal Year 2023, the Department of Social Services (DSS) helped 15,000 households transition from shelters to permanent housing, marking an 18% increase over the previous fiscal year.
The expansion of CityFHEPS aims to alleviate the housing shortage by allowing voucher holders to explore housing opportunities beyond New York City. It also aligns the program more closely with federal Section 8 voucher standards. Housing mobility is seen as a vital aspect of fair housing policy.
This initiative is particularly crucial as New York City continues to face a humanitarian crisis, with an influx of over 116,000 people seeking asylum since spring 2022. Mayor Adams has called for support from the state and federal government to address the growing need for shelter.
CityFHEPS, established in 2014, is the largest city-funded rental assistance program in the United States, offering rental subsidies to over 30,000 households. The program’s expansion has been welcomed by organizations and leaders committed to ending homelessness and providing stable housing opportunities for New Yorkers.
This move underscores the city’s determination to address homelessness, offer housing choices, and create a path to permanent, affordable housing for its residents during a time of unprecedented challenges.