City hears testimony from advocates, homeless people as it plans to increase rent vouchers
The city’s Human Resources Administration is taking steps to speed up the process passed into law by the New York City Council to increase rent vouchers in the CityFHEPS program.
The city agency heard testimony from advocates and homeless New Yorkers on Monday during a virtual public hearing focused on increasing rental vouchers for homeless New Yorkers.
The move rises the maximum voucher amount to align it with what's being allocated in the Section 8 program.
Advocates say for years, many people in shelters were priced out of rentals because their vouchers for apartments were too low.
“While they were grateful for a housing voucher to help them find an apartment, unfortunately the maximum rent for those vouchers were unrealistic,” says Jacquelyn Simone, of the Coalition for the Homeless.
Advocates say increasing the housing vouchers for homeless people and those living in shelters has its many benefits.
“This could reduce the number of children in shelters who are going to school every day, and reduce working adults who are languishing in shelters,” Simone says. “This could reduce the number of who is struggling on our streets.”
Supporters are also pushing the city to streamline the process to it make easier for more homeless people to become eligible for rent assistance.
Some advocates say increasing the voucher amount is a step in the right direction and will open thousands of affordable units for homeless people who are seeking permanent housing.
The city's Human Resource Administration is expected to implement the change sometime next month.