New York State Needs Home Stability Support
Home Stability Support (HSS) will be a new statewide rent supplement for families and individuals who are eligible for public assistance benefits and who are facing eviction, homelessness, or loss of housing due to domestic violence or hazardous living conditions. HSS will be 100% federally and state-funded, and will replace all existing optional rent supplements.
The rent supplements will be a bridge between the current shelter allowance and 85% of the fair market rent determined by HUD. Local districts will have the option to further raise the supplement up to 100% of the fair market rent at local expense.
To address the fact that the heating allowance has not been increased in 30 years, and assistance currently available doesn’t go far enough to help pay for heat, HSS will have a heating differential for homes that do not include heat in the rent.
Why do we need HSS?
- There are over 150,000 homeless children in New York State and another 80,000 families on the brink of homelessness.
- Every year, 19,000 more people become homeless than escape homelessness, according to New York State’s report to HUD.
- The shelter allowance was initially created to pay the full amount of a family’s rent, but it’s failed to keep up with the rising cost of housing.
- Two-thirds of public assistance households living in private housing have rents that exceed the amount of their shelter allowances.
- The shelter and emergency housing systems cost taxpayers billions of dollars each year.
- Studies have shown that housing instability has a negative effect on employment outcomes for adults and school achievement for children, among other things.
Why is HSS good for New York State?
- HSS will keep families and individuals on public assistance in their homes and out of homeless shelters by providing sufficient rental and, in some cases, heating assistance.
- HSS will significantly reduce costs to the state and taxpayers by preventing evictions, reducing emergency shelter utilization and reducing the costs of other homeless services.
- HSS will provide mandate relief to financially strapped counties that already have shelter supplement programs, and will benefit all communities across the state by using state and federal funds to stabilize families and neighborhoods.