Proposal Could Reduce Homelessness Statewide

NEW YORK — Advocates for the homeless say a proposal now in the state Legislature could drastically reduce and prevent homelessness across the state. 

There now are about 60,000 people living in homeless shelters in New York, and the cost of keeping a family in a welfare hotel can be $3,500 a month or more. According to Marc Greenberg, executive director of the Interfaith Assembly on Homelessness and Housing, the housing allowance currently given to people on public assistance simply isn't enough to cover the cost of a habitable apartment. Read more…


 
 

New York has record numbers of homeless people

Mr . de Blasio unveiled a plan called “Turning the Tide on Homelessness” at the end of February, and declared his intention to open 90 new homeless shelters throughout the city. He plans to end the use of hotels as shelters by 2023 and to stop using cluster sites, private apartments paid for by the city, by 2021. Cluster apartments are not cheap and are often in poor condition. The mayor aims to reduce the overall shelter population by 2,500 over five years. He conceded that combating homelessness will be a “long, long battle”, and added that he could not see an end to the problem.

That may seem reminiscent of the city’s fatalistic attitude to crime in the 1980s. There are a few ideas around, such as increasing legal aid to those facing eviction, or creating a rent subsidy designed to help people facing eviction to stay in their homes. That is the brainchild of Andrew Hevesi, a state assemblyman; it has the backing of the mayor and dozens of state lawmakers. But short of a steep decline in rents, or an extensive programme to build more housing, or both, it is hard to see the city fixing its homeless problem. Read more…


 
 

Fighting Homelessness: A Different Approach

As Mayor de Blasio pushes his plan for 90 new homeless shelters, Errol Louis spoke with Queens Assemblyman Andrew Hevesi about a different plan to fight the crisis. Read more…


 
 

95 Faith Leaders Join Push for Passage of State Rent Subsidy Proposal

“The problem of homelessness has reached a critical juncture,” reads the letter signed by 95 faith leaders from 15 cities across the state. “The costs to our communities are unsustainable. It is time to boldly and adequately attack the preventable causes of record homelessness.”

The HSS proposal would provide state funding to bridge the gap between state shelter allowances (rental supplements given to those on public assistance, which are between $264 and $447 a month depending on household size) and up to 85 percent of the household’s fair market rent. It would also give local jurisdictions the option to raise that supplement to 100 percent. Read more…


 
 

Will Trump make NYC homelessness worse?

Regarding homelessness, Trump’s proposed slashing of HUD’s budget has already had an impact on at least one prospective state program that many lawmakers and organizations are pushing for.

Assemblyman Andrew Hevesi (D-Forest Hills) has spent a year touting Home Stability Support, his $450 million program that would replace all existing city and state rental supplements with one new statewide one.

Originally anticipating it would be partially funded by the federal government, Hevesi said he’s altered his proposal last week to make it entirely funded by the state.

“We were concerned there would be cuts that would endanger it,” Hevesi said Tuesday. “But we’re still good to go.” Read more…


 
 

Four NYC borough presidents urge Cuomo to back rent subsidy plan to battle homelessness

ALBANY — Four of the city’s five borough presidents are calling on Gov. Cuomo to back a rent subsidy plan designed to crack down on homelessness.

Eric Adams of Brooklyn, Ruben Diaz Jr. of the Bronx, Melinda Katz of Queens and Gale Brewer of Manhattan weighed in with just over a week to go before the state budget deadline. All are Democrats.

Staten Island Borough President James Oddo, a Republican, is the only one who has not signed on.

The plan to create the Home Stability Support program is being pushed by Assemblyman Andrew Hevesi (D-Queens) and Sen. Jeffrey Klein (D-Bronx), who say it would reduce reliance on homeless shelters by creating a new statewide rent subsidy to keep people in their homes. Read more…


 
 

A statewide solution to New York's housing crisis

The Home Stability Support program advocated by Assemblyman Andrew Hevesi, D-Queens, and Sen. Jeff Klein, D-Bronx, already has statewide support. It is designed to address the problem we face, providing a stronger direct subsidy while simultaneously saving tax dollars and addressing the human misery associated with homelessness and abject poverty.

New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer made this same point during his recent testimony in Albany on the proposed state budget. According to the comptroller, the city is expected to spend $2.1 billion on homelessness this year alone. This includes not just the subsidies provided to families but the ancillary costs of homelessness: emergency-room visits, law enforcement, housing court and programs and shelters for runaway youth. Just curbing evictions has the potential to save taxpayers millions of dollars. A recent analysis by the New York City Bar Association found that preventing the evictions of roughly 5,000 households could save $251 million a year in New York City alone. Read more…


 
 

EXCLUSIVE: Key N.Y. state senator slams Mayor de Blasio's plan to build 90 new homeless shelters

Rather than new shelters, the Bronx Dem is pushing a plan with Assemblyman Andrew Hevesi (D-Queens) to create a rent subsidy program to reduce reliance on homeless shelters by making it easier for people to stay in their homes.

Klein’s Senate Independent Democratic Conference and the Assembly Democrats last week included the Home Stability Support program in separate resolutions outlining their respective budget priorities. A new state budget is due by the end of the month.

“This is a far superior plan than building homeless shelters around the city,” Klein said. Read more…


 
 

Protesters Target Cuomo on Housing Promises

Since last year, the advocates have faulted the governor for failing to deliver completely on a pledge to fund 20,000 units of supportive housing for homeless New Yorkers who have other other social service needs as well. At a press conference last June, Assemblymember Andrew Hevesi, a Queens Democrat who chairs the Assembly Committee on Social Services, charged that only a fraction of the 20,000-unit goal was funded.

The protesters were also pushing for two other Hevesi initiatives, one, Home Stability Support [HSS], a $450 million rent subsidy initiative to help households on public assistance that are at risk for eviction. The assemblymember, who was not part of this week’s protest, has put the number of homeless New Yorkers at 60,000, but said that as many as “80,000 households are on the brink of homelessness” across the state.

The HSS program will save the state money in the long run, Hevesi has said, noting that the Coalition for the Homeless estimates that New York City spends more than $38,000 a year to house a family of three when they lose their home. Read more…


 
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Helping the Homeless Find Affordable Homes

Much of the discussion over homelessness has centered around what New York City officials are doing. But some lawmakers have also been working on state-level action, including a rental-assistance program to close the gap between existing subsidies and the typical rent for an apartment. And now that's getting some traction in the budget process. Assemblyman Andrew Hevesi joins us  to explain more behind the bill. Read more…


 
 

Daunting Homeless Numbers Represent Real People

It’s hard for us to wrap our minds around the idea that New York City’s homeless population is the size of a small city.

But with more than 60,000 people in city shelters at the beginning of this year, most of them families with children — 23,000 children, in fact — we’re all forced to face that very grim reality. It’s a number, too, that seems to stay the same or edge higher no matter how many families and individuals make a transition to long-term housing. Read more…


 
 

NYSYD Endorses Home Stability Support

“Homelessness is an issue that affects everyone, especially young people,” said Mike Corbett, President of the New York State Young Democrats. “Given the number of youth that are either homeless or are on the brink, it is imperative that we act now. That is why I believe Home Stability Support is a good plan, not only because will end up saving taxpayer dollars, but more importantly because it will save lives as well.”

“I am proud to have the New York State Young Democrats endorse the Home Stability Support plan. I look forward to working with this new generation of leaders to help some of our most vulnerable New Yorkers,” said Assemblyman Andrew Hevesi (A.D. 28).

The New York State Young Democrats calls on its representatives in Albany to pass Home Stability Support as a concrete way to end the state’s homelessness crisis and, in turn, help flourish the Empire State’s economic outlook. Read more…


 
 

Ensuring the Stability of Home/Garantizar la estabilidad del hogar

In a few short weeks, the New York State legislature will release its budget for this fiscal year. Our budget proposal will reflect a full agenda of priorities aimed at improving the lives of all New Yorkers.

Few issues we face are as urgent as our state’s growing homeless crisis. Across New York State, 80,000 families are at risk of becoming homeless. An unprecedented 150,000 children are homeless each year. More than 127,000 men, women, and children slept in New York City shelters in the fiscal year ending in June 2016, according to the NYC Department of Homeless Services. Not since the Great Depression have we seen these levels of homelessness.

To address this crisis, my staff and I have worked with a coalition of housing advocates and experts to create a new program called Home Stability Support (HSS). This new statewide rental supplement will replace the existing state and local rental subsidies that have failed to meet the housing needs of New York families. HSS will be 100% federally and state-funded, and available to families and individuals eligible for public assistance benefits who are facing eviction, are currently homeless, or are at risk of losing their home due to factors such as domestic violence or hazardous living conditions. Read more…


 
 

Pols aim to change hotel shelter process

Broadly speaking, the shelter bills backed by borough state lawmakers are focused on communities affected by the facilities. An ambitious program called Home Stability Support that aims to drastically reduce the rate of homelessness has been put forth by one borough lawmaker.
Assemblyman Andrew Hevesi (D-Forest Hills), the proposal’s architect, has argued that the plan would reverse the trend of more New Yorkers losing their homes. Were it implemented and as successful as proponents say, the policy framework would at the very least limit the growth of hotel shelters.

The plan, which would subsidize tenants who can barely pay their rent, has gained traction in some quarters of Queens. Hevesi has traveled throughout the borough discussing the policies of the plan at meetings of civic associations and community boards; several of the latter have passed resolutions supporting HSS. However, the lawmaker has said that the plan’s inclusion in this year’s state budget is unlikely. Read more…


 
 

Legal Aid Society attorney talks changes to Family Eviction Prevention Supplement program at Kings County Housing Court Bar meeting

Bahn also came to discuss Home Stability Support (HSS), a program proposed by Queens Assemblymember Andrew Hevesi that is similar to FHEPS, but would have even more aid and it would be extended to singles. HSS would bridge the current shelter allowance and 85 percent of the fair market rent and would give local districts the option to further raise the supplement to 100 percent.

“We have seen is that many families were able to get on these programs and stabilize themselves,” Bahn said. “I've seen many kids and many moms go to college and get jobs and get off of welfare because they have the stability of the rent being paid. The state has really liked the program too because it has been a stabilizing factor and a good way to get poor families back to work.” Read more…


 
 

Editorial: La Crisis de los Desamparados

Esta propuesta viene como anillo al dedo en momentos en que algunos sectores de la ciudad ven con cierto recelo una parte de la iniciativa del alcalde Bill De Blasio de colocar más refugios para los sin hogar en vecindarios de Brooklyn y El Bronx. Además, NYC ahorraría los gastos colaterales que se destinan a otros servicios para desamparados.

De Blasio ha reconocido que el problema de los sin hogar no es algo que puede arreglarse de la noche a la mañana. Sin embargo, un trabajo mancomunado entre la Legislatura estatal, la gobernación y la alcaldía puede dar luz al final del túnel para ayudar a que más familias puedan tener un techo seguro.

El compromiso con los residentes del estado y la ciudad tiene que prevalecer por encima de cualquier interés político. Hay que poner un alto a la crisis de los desamparados. Read more…


 
 

Proposed subsidy to make low income eviction less likely

New York state Assembly member Andrew Hevesi (D-Queens) is working on a statewide rent assistance program called Home Stability Support. The program has received support by 112 state assembly members, according to the HSS website.

Hevesi’s program aims to be a “bridge” between the current shelter allowance that families can have and a market rate that is fair for the area they live, per the website. With over 130,000 homeless children in New York state, according to a document provided by Home Stability Support, the proponents of the program believe this is a fight they need to tackle.

Susan Bahn, a senior attorney working at Legal Aid Society, who worked on the rent supplement case, said she believes Hevesi’s plan is the strongest proposal that would do the most good for the state. Read more…


 
 

Las ayudas para evitar el desamparo ahorrarán millones a NYC

El plan que el asambleista Andrew Hevesi ha propuesto para evitar que familias con bajos recursos caigan en el desamparo, el Apoyo de Estabilidad para la Vivienda (Home Stability Support o HHS) empezará a proporcionar ahorros al presupuesto de la ciudad al quinto año de su implemetación.

Ese es el análisis de la oficina del contralor, Scott Stringer, sobre una propuesta para dar asistencia real a familias que reciben ayudas públicas que son insuficientes y pueden quedarse en la calle apenas tengan una dificultad financiera mínima. Según las cuentas de la contraloría, en una década el plan estatal de Hevesi podría reducir un 80% la población de familias con niños en refugios y un 60% en el caso de familias de adultos. Read more…


 
 

Amid de Blasio’s Modest Goals on Homelessness, State Proposal Gains Support

Assemblyman Andrew Hevesi, a Queens Democrat, has proposed a statewide rental assistance program that would help families receiving public assistance stay in their homes by bridging the gap between the rent subsidies they now get from the state and typical fair-market rents.

For a family of three receiving the basic shelter allowance of $400 a month and paying a fair-market rent of $1,637 for a two-bedroom apartment, the $1,237 gap is well out of reach, Mr. Hevesi said, and a potential push toward homelessness.

An analysis by the office of Scott M. Stringer, the city comptroller, found that over 10 years, Mr. Hevesi’s plan could cut the city’s shelter population by 80 percent among families with children and 40 percent among single adults. Read more…


 
 

Propuesta busca evitar más desamparados en Nueva York

Según cifras del asambleísta estatal demócrata Andrew Hevesi, hay más de 80,000 familias e individuos que están al borde de perder su casa apenas les depare la vida una pequeña mala sorpresa (una enfermedad, por ejemplo), cometan un ligero error con sus precarias cuentas o sean víctimas de violencia doméstica. La mayoría de estos, unos 60,000, se encuentran en la Gran Manzana y permanentemente están al borde de un precipicio del que Hevesi quiere separarles, con una reforma a la insuficiente asistencia que se provee a estas familias.

El asambleísta quiere evitar la angustia a estas familias, el aumento de la población sin techo, y el alza en los costos de los servicios a los desamparado, acabando con el sistema protección de vivienda vigente y sustituyéndolo por un nuevo programa llamado Apoyo de Estabilidad para Vivienda (Home Stability Support o HHS). Según explicó este lunes a El Diario, es algo que mantendría a estas familias en sus propias casas. Read more…


 
 

Advocates Demand Albany Tax Rich to Address Homelessness Crisis

The IDC maintains that it has used its power to push for progressive policies, from the $15 minimum wage to paid family leave, and that it has invested in the fight to address homelessness, including by conducting its own investigation into the conditions in cluster sites and hotels used to house the homeless.

The IDC’s legislative platform to combat homelessness includes supporting and improving Hevesi’s Homes Stability Support program, expanding housing anti-discrimination policies, giving preference in housing lotteries to homeless families, requiring a survey of homelessness across the state, and renewing the millionaire’s tax. Read more…


 
 

Mayor’s plan for homeless crisis will stop using hotels as more shelters open

De Blasio, who is running for re-election this year, did take responsibility for his administra­tion’s shortcomings in battling the homeless crisis. He also backed a plan by state Assemblyman Andrew Hevesi (D-Forest Hills). His Home Stability Support plan continues to gain support from elected officials, advocates and community leaders across the state.

“It would offer a statewide, financially sound program to help tens of thousands of individuals and families at risk of homelessness, and take into real accounts the real costs faced by New Yorkers in terms of rising rental and heating costs in cities across the state, as well as our overburdened shelter system and eviction courts.” Hevsi said.

The mayor also called on Albany to do more to help. Read more…


 
 

What You Need to Know if You Can't Pay Your Rent, and How the City Can Help

Advocates and legislators have been trying to find low-cost alternatives to keep single people and families on public assistance in their homes.

State Assemblyman Andrew Hevesi of Queens has been pushing for an alternative plan known as Home Stability Support which would pay roughly $11,224 per year for a household of three.

The program would peg subsidies to current fair market rates ­— which means they’d pay more than programs now available. Read more…


 
 

Borough President Diaz Delivers Eighth 'State of the Borough' Address

On housing, Borough President Díaz discussed the future of the Jerome Avenue corridor, and the need to ensure that the City’s proposed rezoning works for local residents and workers at area businesses. The borough president also discussed the need to build more affordable and permanent supportive housing as a means to prevent homelessness, and threw his support behind Queens Assembly Member Andrew Hevesi’s Home Stability Support plan, which would give rent subsidies to those in danger of losing their homes. Read more…


 
 

Jefferson Democratic Club Kicks Off 137th Year

The Jefferson Democratic Club kicked off its 137th year on February 16, 2017 at the Clearview Park Golf Course Clubhouse.

Guest Speaker Assembly Member Andrew Hevesi gave an informative speech about his widely acclaimed Home Stability Support program to ease New York's homeless crisis, and took questions from the many members present. Assembly Member Edward Braunstein updated club members on the new session in Albany and Council Member Barry Grodenchik provided an update on issues such as property tax fairness for co-op owners. Read more…


 
 

The Coalition’s testimony included the following budget recommendations: 

[...]We recommend inclusion of Assemblymember Hevesi’s Home Stability Support proposal in the budget: It would address the causes of homelessness by preventing thousands of individuals and families from becoming homeless and help those already in shelters move into their own homes. It would more than pay for itself in savings from reduced evictions, shorter shelter stays, and increased housing stability for public assistance households. Read more…


 
 

CityViews: The Long View on New York’s Homeless Problem

But if we can’t “build our way out of” this crisis, there is promising news on a parallel front. The “Housing Stability Support” policy being developed by State Assemblymember Andrew Hevesi draws upon the demonstrable success of a host of targeted (if often time-limited) rental subsidy programs, programs that have operated at varying degrees of visibility. Left to its own devices, of course, the private market is an inconstant partner. 

But the focus on enhanced demand (rental subsidies to be used in existing housing), in addition to expanded supply (developing affordable units as contingent “set asides”), is a welcome one. The devil, as always, will reside in the details. Read more...


 
 

Ithaca Mayor Endorses Legislation to Reduce Local Homelessness

Standing beside state representatives, Ithaca Mayor Svante Myrick ’09 endorsed a state program Wednesday that he said would prevent people from falling prey to homelessness — a crisis sharply felt in the streets and shelter beds of Ithaca and Tompkins County.

The Home Stability Support Program would provide statewide rental subsidies to 80,000 households — including 150,000 children — that are on the brink of homelessness despite being eligible for public assistance, said Assemblyman Andrew Hevesi (D-28), chair of the Assembly Social Services Committee, at a press conference. Read more...


 
 

Myrick, Lifton support program that could help families facing homelessness

Myrick said the program is "close to his heart" because he was born into homelessness. He said he spent the first six months of his life in a homeless shelter and spent many years in housing insecurity, moving in and out of shelters.

"I’m convinced that my life was saved, that I was able to go to a school like Cornell, I was able to eventually take on a job like mayor of the City of Ithaca, because I got the support I needed to be stable. And for me I was so lucky that it was my grandparents that could take us in," Myrick said. Read more...


 
 

Housing Aid for New York’s Homeless

In the city, a three-person household with children can receive a $400 allowance. Yet by federal calculations, the fair-market rent of a two-bedroom unit in the city is $1,637. This gap puts too many New Yorkers on razor-thin budgets, so that any contingency, like a sickness or a lost job, can lead to evictions, homelessness and immeasurable distress from a disrupted life.

By covering the subsidy gap, the program will keep families in their homes and neighborhoods intact.
The program is already supported by a wide range of city and state officials. Legislators must pass the Home Stability Support program, and Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo should sign it into law.

SEYMOUR W. JAMES Jr.
Attorney in Chief, Legal Aid Society, New York
Read more...


 
 

A Bold New Plan To Fight LGBT Homelessness

That’s why, as our city faces its greatest homeless crisis since the Great Depression, we support a proposal by Queens Assembly Member Andrew Hevesi to find a better way to aid the individuals like Dara that we at The Center serve. This plan, called Home Stability Support, would replace the state’s current outdated rental subsidies to ensure more New Yorkers have access to safe, affordable housing. It would create 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.

Most importantly, Home Stability Support would provide some of the most vulnerable members of the LGBT community with the stable footing to be able to take care of other urgent needs, like employment and healthcare. Read more...


 
 

Progressive group backs Queens pol's statewide rent subsidy plan

ALBANY - A Queens assemblyman's plan to crack down on the city homeless crisis has won the backing of the City Council's Progressive Caucus.

The caucus is supporting a plan by Assemblyman Andrew Hevesi (D-Queens) called the Home Stability Support program that is intended to reduce reliance on homeless shelters by creating a new statewide rent subsidy to keep people in their homes.  Read more...


 
 

A Bold Plan to Prevent Homelessness

The current crisis requires bigger, bolder solutions, and Assemblyman Andrew Hevesi is proposing one. It’s a plan to create a statewide rental subsidy to help families on public assistance stay in their homes. The program, called Home Stability Support, would help bridge the gap between the shelter allowance for public assistance recipients and market rents.

Families who face eviction or are forced to move because of domestic violence or hazardous living conditions need a sturdy bridge to permanent housing. But existing aid often isn’t enough to help them avoid the shelter trap. Mr. Hevesi’s proposal would use state and federal funds to supplement a family’s shelter allowance up to 85 percent of fair-market rent (localities could add their own funds to raise that to 100 percent) and would help pay for heat, if heat is not included in rent. Read more..


 
 

LGBT Advocates Endorse Eviction-Prevention Subsidy  

The New York City LGBT Community Center is among the latest advocates to endorse a plan by Queens State Assemblymember Andrew Hevesi that would provide a rent subsidy for households on public assistance that are at risk for eviction.

“It’s no secret that LGBT people face shocking health disparities and much higher rates of poverty, unemployment, and homelessness, and we see this first-hand every day at the Center,” said Glennda Testone, the West 13th Street institution’s executive director. “Home Stability Support [HSS] will help us and others in the LGBT movement offer our most vulnerable community members a way to secure safe, affordable housing and get on more stable footing to address other basic needs, like employment.” Read more...


 
 

CB 10 okays Hevesi’s home stability support

Assemblyman Andrew Hevesi’s plan to curb the city’s growing homeless population received one more thumbs up last Thursday, when Community Board 10 unanimously passed a resolution with little discussion on it.

“It has promise,” board Chairwoman Betty Braton said shortly before the vote.
The resolution in support of the plan was proposed by the panel’s Legislation Committee.


 
 

EXCLUSIVE: Mayor de Blasio approves of pol's plan to address NYC's homeless crisis

ALBANY – Mayor de Blasio has given a qualified thumbs up to a plan to address the homeless crisis that is gaining bipartisan support in the state Legislature. Assemblyman Andrew Hevesi (D-Queens) has been pushing the Home Stability Support program that is intended to reduce reliance on homeless shelters by creating a new rent subsidy to keep people in their homes.

“We applaud Assemblyman Hevesi for releasing a creative statewide rental supplement proposal,” de Blasio spokesman Eric Phillips said. “We’re in the process of analyzing the details of the idea, but it’s definitely something we’re interested in and a goal we share with the assemblyman.” Read more...


 
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How to truly help N.Y.’s homeless: State legislation could finally deliver progress and save money

There is a need to keep families in one steady place that they can call home. The real solution is subsidizing permanent housing for homeless families and those on the brink of homelessness, a wise investment that will save taxpayers money and keep families off the streets, out of inappropriate hotels and out of the shelter system.

This year, the Independent Democratic Conference will partner with Assemblyman Andrew Hevesi to create the Home Stability Support program, a new statewide rent supplement for families and individuals facing eviction, who are currently homeless or who have lost housing due to domestic violence or hazardous living conditions. Read more...


 
 

EXCLUSIVE: Queens assemblyman's plan to address homeless crisis gains bipartisan support

A Queens state assemblyman's plan to address the homeless crisis is gaining bipartisan steam in both houses of the Legislature.

Andrew Hevesi has been pushing a plan, first reported by the Daily News in September, that he calls the Home Stability Support program. It’s intended to reduce reliance on homeless shelters by creating a new rent subsidy to keep people in their homes. This week, Hevesi and 110 of his Democratic and Republican Assembly colleagues — including Dem Majority Leader Joseph Morelle and GOP Minority Leader Brian Kolb — sent a letter to Gov. Cuomo pushing for its enactment. Read more...


 
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Elected Officials Endorse Home Stability Support

In response to New York City’s growing homeless crisis, a broad coalition of city elected officials, including Public Advocate Letitia James and 30 members of the City Council announced their endorsement in November of Home Stability Support (HSS) in an effort to increase the state’s rental assistance subsidies.

Community Board 1 (CB 1) joined the December 20 meeting of the board by voting to send a letter in support of HSS to Governor Andrew Cuomo. Read more...


 
 

New York City Must Do Better for the Homeless in 2017

Over the past year, numerous stories have been written about the unfettered growth in our city’s homeless population. It is time for the city to rise up and fix this problem. There's no doubt there are numerous contributing factors to the boom in homelessness, but there are ways we can alleviate it.

As a member of Congress, I have called for increasing federal funding to programs that help make housing more affordable, such as Section 8 rental assistance. I have also supported “income averaging” for the Low Income Housing Tax Credit, a bipartisan proposal that would bring more flexibility to an important federal tax incentive that promotes the construction and preservation of affordable housing. At the state level, I have lent my strong support to Assemblyman Andrew Hevesi’s Home Stability Support initiative, an innovative way to redirect scarce federal and state resources toward those most at risk of becoming homeless. Read more...


 
 

In from the cold

In 1975 Albany drew up a shelter allowance system, which has fallen far short of skyrocketing rents, putting many New Yorkers just a heartbeat away from homelessness. Up until 1975 most families on public assistance had their rents paid in full.

Warning the city faces its worst homeless emergency since the Depression, Hevesi has drawn endorsements for his plan from a growing coalition of lawmakers and advocacy groups, which want Gov. Andrew Cuomo to put HSS in the next state budget.

We must return to being a city where there is housing available for people at all income levels — even those earning the minimum wage. Hevesi’s plan is a major step in the right direction and we hope to see it adopted in 2017. Read more...


 
 

Hevesi pitches HSS to Juniper Civic

Hevesi highlighted the crisis by indicating that there are over 150,000 homeless children and more than 80,000 households on the brink of homelessness in the state.

He also indicated that the so-called Shelter Allowance — created in 1975 to pay the full rents of the vast majority of households on public assistance — had not been increased in decades, adding the state had failed to comply with laws that provide for the “support, maintenance and needs of one or both parents if in need, and in the home.” Read more...


 
 

CB5 supports Hevesi’s homeless initiative

Some members were a bit skeptical, but Community Board 5 overwhelmingly voted to support a new plan to combat the homelessness crisis put forth by Assemblyman Andrew Hevesi (D-Forest Hills).

“We’re in a desperate situation here, using these hotels temporarily,” Land Use Committee Chairman Walter Sanchez said. “We have a lot of questions about this, but let’s vote in support of this bill for now, get it going and support Andrew.” Read more...


 
 

What the homeless really need

Every night, more than 62,000 people sleep in our shelters, on our streets or in our subway system. This means there are more homeless people in New York City than at any time since the Great Depression. It is an epidemic we must face with the full force of our available resources.

Yet far too often, we find ourselves tinkering around the edges, trying to combat symptoms of the problem piecemeal, rather than searching for a holistic solution to the root causes of this crisis. The status quo is clearly broken, and we must strive for bigger, bolder solutions that will provide New Yorkers with the support they need to remain in their homes.



This is why I am fighting in support of the Home Stability Support plan that Assemblyman Andrew Hevesi (D-Queens) has introduced. His plan will create a single, all-encompassing support program to assist those families and individuals in the most dire straits: those facing eviction, imminent homelessness or loss of housing because of domestic violence or hazardous conditions. Read more...


 
 

CB5 supports assemblyman’s rental assistance plan

The Home Stability Support (HSS) program, a plan to provide rental supplements to 80,000 households on the brink of homelessness, is steadily picking up steam.

Last Wednesday, Community Board 5 voted in favor of the program being pushed by Queens Assemblyman Andrew Hevesi, 32-2, with three abstentions.

Dmytro Fedkowskyj, who heads the board’s Special Committee Regarding Homeless Issues, spearheaded the resolution, which stated that HSS could “stem the tide of displacement” driving record-high numbers of families into homelessness. Read more...


 
 

How New York’s housing crunch has poured gasoline on a festering homeless crisis

Recognizing that cheaper options are key to solving the helix of housing and homelessness, NYC is getting some help from New York state via the allocation of affordable units pledged by Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

Simultaneously, a new joint plan developed by Assemblyman Andrew Hevesi called Home Stability Support will help defray up to 85 percent of a recipient's rent. This program is primarily for public assistance recipients who have exceeded the five-year limit set up by 1990s welfare reform, and looks to lower the numbers that utilize New York City shelters, which cost taxpayers more than $1 billion annually. "The reason why we're having the state pick up the cost is because over the last five years, the state has been cutting money for homeless programs," Hevesi told CNBC in an interview, in spite of homelessness surging since the 2008 crisis. "The state has not been doing its job." Read more...


 
 

Middle Village group wants Queens lawmaker to focus on getting rid of out-of-town homeless

Assemblyman Andrew Hevesi and members of the Juniper Park Civic Association (JPCA) got into a debate at the group’s meeting Thursday night in Middle Village over the lawmaker’s proposed Home Stability Support (HSS) program.
Hevesi told residents at Our Lady of Hope School in Middle Village that his HSS plan will create a new statewide rent supplement for families and individuals who are eligible for public assistance and who are facing either eviction, homelessness or loss of housing due to domestic violence or other hazardous living conditions. Read more...


 
 

Barnwell, Crowley endorse Hevesi’s homeless plan

Brian Barnwell, the 32-year-old Woodside attorney who upset longtime state Assemblywoman Margaret Markey (D-Maspeth) in the Democratic primary and then won her seat easily on Election Day, isn’t waiting to be sworn in come January for his first policy statement. 

Barnwell announced Monday his endorsement of the Home Stability Support Plan proposed by Assemblyman Andrew Hevesi (D-Forest Hills), a proposal to increase outdated rental subsidies provided to New York families on the brink of homelessness. He is joining a growing coalition of city and statewide officials and advocacy groups calling on Gov. Andrew Cuomo to include the plan in the state budget. Read more...


Home For The Holidays

This holiday season many of us will gather in our homes with friends and loved ones to celebrate. Sadly, for families across the state who face eviction and homelessness, the holiday season is a time of stress and worry over the possibility of losing the roof over their heads.

This is not a new phenomenon, though it is something that we have seen with increasing frequency. Across New York State 80,000 families are on the brink of homelessness. An unprecedented 150,000 children statewide are homeless each year. More than 127,000 men, women, and children slept in New York City shelters in the fiscal year ending in June 2016 according to Department of Homeless Services data. Read more...


 
 

The downside of NYC’s homeless shelter generosity

A better solution — and certainly one less costly — would have been for the city to pay her rent so they could have remained at their home. That’s something the city is doing more often now, but should do even more. The city also recently announced rental payments between $1,200 and $1,800 for hosts who take in homeless families and is continuing its free legal service to fight landlords illegally evicting tenants, as well as job training and financial counseling.

Meanwhile, Queens Assemblyman Andrew Hevesi has introduced a bill in the Legislature for funding a rental subsidy program that would make it possible for more New Yorkers to stay in their apartments or houses instead of being evicted. Hopefully, Albany will look favorably on Hevesi’s bill. Read more...


 
 

Woodside’s new assemblyman says he supports new rent relief program to curb homelessness

A new lawmaker from Woodside is jumping on board with Assemblyman Andrew Hevesi’s Home Stability Support (HSS) plan to help combat the city’s growing homelessness crisis.
Assemblyman-elect Brian Barnwell, who defeated outgoing Assemblywoman Margaret Markey in the Democratic primary and Tony Nunziato in the November election, officially announced his support for the plan on Monday, Dec. 12. Barnwell has been a staunch opponent against the city’s currently homeless policies and actively fought against turning a hotel in Maspeth into a homeless shelter.  Read more...


 
 

Vice Chair Crowley Endorses NYS Assemblyman Andrew Hevesi’s Home Stability Support Initiative to Combat Homelessness

Queens, N.Y. – (RealEstateRama) — Rep. Joe Crowley (D-Queens, the Bronx), Vice Chair of the Democratic Caucus, released the following statement in support of NYS Assemblyman Andrew Hevesi’s Home Stability Support (HSS) initiative to address New York’s growing homeless crisis:

“The most effective way to combat homelessness in our city is to prevent New Yorkers from becoming homeless in the first place. At a time when so many of our communities are rent-burdened and struggling to make ends meet, Home Stability Support presents a real opportunity to provide the assistance vulnerable families need to stay in their homes.  Read more...


 
 

New York’s mayors throw support behind rental subsidy plan

A statewide organization of mayors announced their support for the Home Stability Support (HSS) plan, a program that would provide rental assistance for vulnerable New Yorkers.

The New York State Conference of Mayors and Municipal Officials (NYCOM), which represents 62 cities and 550 villages, endorsed the plan being pushed by Assemblyman Andrew Hevesi of Queens. Read more...


 
 

Electeds rally for money-saving homeless solution

A delegation of more than 30 City Council members led by Public Advocate Letitia James formally endorsed Home Stability Support on the steps of City Hall last week. 
The proposal introduced by state Assemblyman Andrew Hevesi (D-Forest Hills) will include the rental assistance subsidy program in the state budget and takes aim at the growing homeless crisis across the city by preventing homelessness in the first place.

Councilmen Barry Grodenchik (D-Fresh Meadows) and Donovan Richards (D-Laurelton) are among the advocates for the plan.  “New York City is facing the worst housing crisis since the Great Depression, forcing thousands of hardworking people out of their homes,” James said. “For too long, our government has employed a piecemeal approach to providing housing assistance, resulting in inefficient and inadequate support that leaves too many behind.”  Read more...


 
 

More endorsements for Home Stability Support

As the number of people living in the city’s homeless shelters continues to grow, so does the angst and frustration of communities across Queens and beyond.

Some elected officials have rallied against Mayor de Blasio’s solutions — or lack thereof. Others have filed lawsuits to stop shelter plans. But Assemblyman Andrew Hevesi (D-Forest Hills) has been busy plugging away behind the scenes, garnering support for his initiative that he believes will keep people at risk of homelessness in their homes and out of shelters across the state. Read more...


 
 

City pols endorse state bill to alleviate homelessness

As New York City faces a growing homelessness crisis, with more than 60,000 people in the shelter system, a solution may be in sight.

Queens Assemblyman Andrew Hevesi, who represents Forest Hills, Rego Park and Middle Village, has been pushing the Home Stability Support (HSS) program, a new statewide rental subsidy that would help keep vulnerable families in their homes.

Last Tuesday on the steps of City Hall, city elected officials endorsed the plan, calling it a possible answer to a troubling issue.

“We’re in a crisis, and we need forward-thinking solutions,” said Public Advocate Letitia James. “It’s a financially and socially responsible proposal that will reduce our dependence on shelters and hotels, prevent evictions, and cut down the significant cost of homelessness.”  Read more...


 
 

Home Stability Rally Held at Bronx Housing Court

With homelessness in NYC and across the state reaching unprecedented proportions, Association of Legal Aid Attorneys-UAW Local 2325 announced its endorsement of Home Stability Support at a rally held on Thursday, November 3 outside of Bronx Housing Court.

The union of legal aid attorneys tasked with defending families against eviction joined Assemblyman Andrew Hevesi and a growing statewide coalition advocating for the proposed new rental assistance.  Read more...

 


 
 

Legal aid attorneys hail Forest Hills lawmaker’s plan to combat homelessness

As the city scrambles to find a permanent solution to the homelessness crisis, one local lawmaker from Forest Hills has received the support of the Association of Legal Aid Attorneys – UAW Local 2325 for his Home Stability Support (HSS) plan.

Dozens gathered outside of the Bronx Housing Court on Nov. 3 as the UAW Local 2325 attorneys officially endorsed Assemblyman Andrew Hevesi’s HSS plan to keep people in their homes before they are evicted and become homeless.  Read more...


 
 

Queens Pols Back Homelessness Strategy

The city officials gathered on the steps of City Hall to announce their support before the Thanksgiving holiday. They join a growing statewide throng of voices throwing their support behind Hevesi’s plan, including the Association of Legal Aid Attorneys and the New York State Conference of Mayors.

“As New York City council members, we are alarmed at the growing homeless crisis in New York State,” read a letter signed by the 30 council members and addressed to Governor Andrew Cuomo, requesting his support for the plan. “New York City alone has 60,000 individuals, including over 23,000 children, who are homeless. We urge you to initiate a new program to reduce the large number of families and individuals being driven into homelessness each and every day.”  Read more...

 


 
 

New Rent Assistance Proposal has Mayor Stephanie Miner's Support,Could Help Families Avoid Eviction

Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner is getting behind a program she says could prevent families from becoming homeless.  A state proposal called The Home Stability Support program would provide a new rent supplement for those who are eligible for public assistance.  Miner says the program could expand upon the efforts of the city and county to keep families out of shelters and off the streets.

"If your family is receiving public assistance, and cannot afford to pay the rent, your city and your state would be able to help keep you in your home, and we would make up the difference," Miner said.  "We know that it's much easier to deal with the issues and problems when people are in their homes with their support systems and networks." Read more...


 
 

James, councilmembers demand changes in homeless policy

Charging that New York’s homeless problem has become a growing crisis, Public Advocate Letitia James and several city councilmembers are calling on the state to institute major changes in the way people in need receive assistance.

Brooklyn Councilmembers Vincent Gentile, Stephen Levin and Antonio Reynoso were among the elected officials who joined James at a press conference outside City Hall on Nov. 22 to announce their endorsement of a bill sponsored by Queens Assemblymember Andrew Hevesi to create a Home Stability Support (HSS) plan to increase the state’s rental assistance subsidies. Read more...


 
 

City Officials Call on Cuomo’s Help With City’s Homeless Crisis

“We are in a crisis and we need forward thinking solutions and there are many steps we can take with the state to prevent homelessness. A meaningful solution must come from the state backed by federal funding and the Home Stability Support program is just what we are looking for,” said Public Advocate, Letitia James. “It’s a financially responsible proposal. It will reduce our dependence on shelters and hotels and cut down on the significant cost of homelessness.  

Currently there are over 60,000 homeless individuals throughout New York City, with over 14,000 of them being families and 23,000 of them being children. The city is facing its largest population of homelessness since the Great Depression. Read more...


 
 

DAILY NEWS, K. Lovett - EXCLUSIVE: Queens Assemblyman Andrew Hevesi pushing to have the homeless swap shelters for rent subsidies

He estimates it would cost the state and federal governments a combined $450 million a year. But he says when implemented it would actually save the state and city significantly more by relying less on costly shelters and other homeless services.

“It’s going to cost a lot but you drop significantly what we’re spending on the statewide and city shelter systems by reducing the trend of homelessness so you’re ultimately saving millions of dollars,” Hevesi said.  Read more...


 
 

Assemblyman Hevesi Proposes Plan to Fight Homelessness.  Watch here...


 
 

NY POST, M. Goodwin - Liberal Dose of Wa$te

In the latest hare-brained scheme to stop homelessness, a state assemblyman wants New York to pay the rent for 80,000 families said to be at risk of eviction.

The whopping tab of $450 million a year would be a bargain, says Democrat Andrew Hevesi of Queens. He estimates more than that would be saved by keeping people out of shelters and other subsidized housing.  Read more... 
(Excerpt at bottom of article)


 
 

Record numbers in shelters signal need to change gameplan

Recognizing the futility of continuing to pour billions into temporary shelters, Queens Assemblyman Andrew Hevesi has floated a proposal for subsidizing rents that, he says, would cost less and keep 80,000 of the state’s neediest in their homes.

The idea deserves serious, but very cautious, consideration.  Read more...


 
 

Hevesi plan would combat homeless crisis, save taxpayers millions

Last month, the city hit a record of 59,373 people in shelters. This comes at a time when New York leads the nation with it homeless population, which includes more than 130,000 children statewide, according to Hevesi. He is working with advocates to gain support for HHS among state officials and policymakers ahead of the 2017 legislative session and budget negotiations.

"We currently face the most severe homeless crisis since the Great Depression," Hevesi said. "I look forward to partnering with colleagues on both sides of the aisle to implement the Home Stability Support."  Read more...


 
 

Hevesi rolls out new homelessness initiative

As the city converts more and more Queens hotels into homeless shelters, enraging the communities that surround them, Assemblyman Andrew Hevesi (D-Forest Hills) is hoping his new initiative to help keep people in their homes will gain support during the 2017 legislative session.

The chairman of the legislative body’s Social Services Committee announced on Tuesday the Home Stability Support program, which he says will replace all existing city and state rental supplements that “have done little” to combat the rise in homelessness across New York State.  Read more...


 
 

New rent supplements could help solve Queens’ homelessness crisis, says this local lawmaker

Hevesi also forecasts that merely preventing eviction will save taxpayers millions by avoiding emergency room costs, housing court costs and other collateral costs associated with homelessness. A study done by the NYC Bar Association found that stopping evictions in 5,000 households could save taxpayers $251 million in NYC alone.

“Having a stable home serves as a platform for people to become better parents, employees and members of the community,” Hevesi said.  Read more...


 
 

CAPITAL PRESSROOM: Asm. Andrew Hevesi (D – Forest Hills) discusses his plan to build greater resources to help the homeless.  Listen here...


 
 

Reducing Poverty Will Grow Economy

There are some potentially innovative solutions on the table, such as the Home Stability Support legislation being proposed by downstate Assembly Member Andrew Hevesi (D-Forest Hills). By helping more people pay their rent, he says, New York state and its municipalities could save hundreds of millions of dollars on the back end each year by reducing the public costs of eviction and homelessness. That is money that could be used to cut taxes or provide smart business incentives.

Eradicating poverty is not just a moral issue any more, to be solved because it is the "right thing" to do. It is essential to economic improvement.  Read more...