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A08178 Summary:

BILL NOA08178
 
SAME ASNo Same As
 
SPONSORHevesi
 
COSPNSRSepulveda, Barron, Gottfried, D'Urso, McDonald, Braunstein, Ortiz, Barnwell, Quart, Niou, Paulin, Englebright, Simon, Rozic, Mosley, Lupardo, Simotas, Ra, Miller B, Hunter, O'Donnell, Giglio, Abinanti, Dickens, Raia, Seawright, Jaffee, Fahy, Miller MG, Weprin, Errigo, Peoples-Stokes, Jean-Pierre
 
MLTSPNSRCahill, Friend, Lentol, McDonough, Solages
 
Add 131-bb, amd 153, Soc Serv L
 
Relates to the creation of home stability support supplement programs.
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A08178 Actions:

BILL NOA08178
 
06/01/2017referred to social services
06/07/2017reported referred to ways and means
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A08178 Memo:

NEW YORK STATE ASSEMBLY
MEMORANDUM IN SUPPORT OF LEGISLATION
submitted in accordance with Assembly Rule III, Sec 1(f)
 
BILL NUMBER: A8178
 
SPONSOR: Hevesi
  TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the social services law, in relation to home stability support programs   PURPOSE OF THE BILL: This bill amends the Social Services Law (SSL) to create a new statewide rent supplement for families and individuals who are eligible for public assistance benefits and who are also facing eviction, homelessness, or loss of housing due to domestic violence or hazardous living conditions.   SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS: Section 1 of this bill adds a new section 131-b of the Social Services Law, to create the Home Stability Support (HSS) rent supplement program. Section 2 of this bill amends section 153 of the Social Services Law by adding a new subdivision 13, to provide the funding structure for HSS. Section 3 of this bill provides an effective date of April 1, 2018.   JUSTIFICATION: There are over 150,000 homeless children in New York State and another 80,000 families on the brink of homelessness. According to New York State's report to Housing and Urban Development (HUD)-19,000 more people become homeless than escape homelessness every year. Two-thirds of public assistance households living in private housing have rents that exceed the amount of their shelter allowances. These facts are stagger- ing. 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. The rent supplement will be a bridge between the current shelter allow- ance and 85% of the fair market rent, which is 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. HSS will significantly reduce costs to the state and taxpayers by preventing evictions, reducing emergency shelter utilization and reduc- ing the costs of other homeless services.   PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: This is a new bill.   BUDGET IMPLICATIONS: To be determined.   LOCAL IMPACT: No local impact, districts should see a savings when HSS is fully imple- mented.   EFFECTIVE DATE: April 1, 2018.
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A08178 Text:



 
                STATE OF NEW YORK
        ________________________________________________________________________
 
                                          8178
 
                               2017-2018 Regular Sessions
 
                   IN ASSEMBLY
 
                                      June 1, 2017
                                       ___________
 
        Introduced by M. of A. HEVESI -- read once and referred to the Committee
          on Social Services
 
        AN  ACT  to amend the social services law, in relation to home stability
          support programs
 
          The People of the State of New York, represented in Senate and  Assem-
        bly, do enact as follows:

     1    Section  1. The social services law is amended by adding a new section
     2  131-bb to read as follows:
     3    § 131-bb. Home stability support program.  1. (a) Notwithstanding  any
     4  other  provision  of  law  to  the  contrary, each local social services
     5  district shall provide a shelter supplement to eligible individuals  and
     6  families to prevent eviction and address homelessness in accordance with
     7  this section.
     8    (b) For the purposes of this section:
     9    (i)  "homeless"  shall mean the lack of a fixed, regular, and adequate
    10  nighttime residence; having a primary  nighttime  residence  that  is  a
    11  public or private place not designed for or ordinarily used as a regular
    12  sleeping  accommodation  for  human beings, including a car, park, aban-
    13  doned building, bus or train station, airport  or  campground  or  other
    14  places  not  meant for human habitation; living in a supervised publicly
    15  or privately operated shelter designated  to  provide  temporary  living
    16  arrangements  (including hotels and motels paid for by federal, state or
    17  local government programs for low-income individuals  or  by  charitable
    18  organizations, congregate shelters, or transitional housing); exiting an
    19  institution  where  they  resided  and  will  lack  a  regular fixed and
    20  adequate nighttime residence upon release or discharge; or are an  unac-
    21  companied youth and homeless families with children and youth defined as
    22  homeless under either this paragraph or federal statute who have experi-
    23  enced a long-term period without living independently in permanent hous-
    24  ing;  have  experienced  persistent  instability as measured by frequent
    25  moves; and can be expected to continue in such status  for  an  extended
 
         EXPLANATION--Matter in italics (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                              [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                                   LBD11223-02-7

        A. 8178                             2
 
     1  period  of time because of chronic disabilities, chronic physical health
     2  or mental health conditions, substance addiction, histories of  domestic
     3  violence  or  childhood  abuse,  the presence of a child or youth with a
     4  disability,  or  multiple  barriers to employment, or other dangerous or
     5  life-threatening  conditions,  including  conditions  that   relate   to
     6  violence against an individual or a family member; and
     7    (ii)  "imminent loss of housing" shall mean having received a verified
     8  rent demand or a petition for eviction; having received  a  court  order
     9  resulting from an eviction action that notifies the individual or family
    10  that  they  must  leave  their  housing;  facing  loss of housing due to
    11  hazardous conditions, including but not limited to asbestos, lead  expo-
    12  sure,  mold,  and  radon; having a primary nighttime residence that is a
    13  room in a hotel or motel and  lack  the  resources  necessary  to  stay;
    14  facing loss of the primary nighttime residence, which may include living
    15  in the home of another household, where the owner or renter of the hous-
    16  ing  will  not allow the individual or family to stay, provided further,
    17  that an assertion from an individual or family member alleging such loss
    18  of housing or homelessness shall be sufficient to establish eligibility;
    19  or, fleeing, or attempting to flee, domestic violence, dating  violence,
    20  sexual  assault, stalking, human trafficking or other dangerous or life-
    21  threatening conditions that relate to violence against the individual or
    22  a family member, provided further that an assertion from  an  individual
    23  or family member alleging such abuse and loss of housing shall be suffi-
    24  cient to establish eligibility.
    25    2.  (a)  Each  local  social services district shall provide a shelter
    26  supplement to eligible individuals and families as defined  in  subdivi-
    27  sion  three of this section in an amount equal to eighty-five percent of
    28  the fair market rent in the district,  as  established  by  the  federal
    29  department  of  housing  and  urban development, for the particular unit
    30  size. The shelter  supplement  shall  be  issued  by  the  local  social
    31  services district directly to the landlord or vendor.
    32    (b)  A  local  social services district may also provide an additional
    33  supplement in excess of eighty-five percent of the fair market rent,  up
    34  to  one  hundred  percent  of  the  fair market rent in the district, as
    35  established by the federal department of housing and urban  development.
    36  Provided,  however,  the cost of the additional supplement shall be paid
    37  by the local social services district.
    38    (c) As part of the supplement referenced in this subdivision, when  an
    39  eligible  recipient,  as  defined  in subdivision three of this section,
    40  incurs separate fuel for heating expenses,  the  local  social  services
    41  district  shall  provide  additional  funds  to  cover such expenses, in
    42  excess of the amount already required  for  shelter  costs  pursuant  to
    43  paragraph  (a)  of  this  subdivision.  Such  heating allowance shall be
    44  equivalent to the full amount of fuel for heating expenses, and shall be
    45  made directly to the vendor on behalf of  the  recipient.  Any  expenses
    46  incurred by the local social services district that are (i) in excess of
    47  a  recipient's  fuel  for heating allowance authorized pursuant to para-
    48  graph (b) of subdivision two of section one hundred thirty-one-a of this
    49  title; (ii) made pursuant to section ninety-seven of  this  chapter;  or
    50  (iii)  to cover any arrears payments made to restore heating services or
    51  to prevent a shut-off, shall not be recoupable.
    52    (d) Individuals not in receipt of public  assistance,  residing  in  a
    53  household  that  is  benefiting  from  a  shelter  supplement under this
    54  section shall be required to contribute thirty percent  of  their  gross
    55  income,  or  their  pro rata share of the rent, whichever is less. Minor
    56  children without income shall not be  counted  in  the  pro  rata  share

        A. 8178                             3
 
     1  equation. In addition, the income of minor children shall not be consid-
     2  ered part of the gross income.
     3    (e)  Any supplement or allowance provided under this section shall not
     4  be considered to be part of the standard of need as defined in paragraph
     5  (b) of subdivision ten of  section  one  hundred  thirty-one-a  of  this
     6  title.
     7    (f)  In  the  event that the local social services district determines
     8  that payment of rental arrears would  prevent  homelessness  and  subse-
     9  quently pays such arrears, such payments shall not be recoupable.
    10    3.  (a)  For the period beginning October first, two thousand eighteen
    11  until September thirtieth, two thousand nineteen, individuals, or  fami-
    12  lies,  who  are  eligible  for public assistance, are either homeless or
    13  face an imminent loss of housing, and are not currently receiving anoth-
    14  er shelter supplement shall  be  eligible  for  the  shelter  supplement
    15  provided under this section.
    16    (b)  On and after October first, two thousand nineteen, individuals or
    17  families who are eligible for public assistance and are (i) homeless  or
    18  face an imminent loss of housing, and are not currently receiving anoth-
    19  er shelter supplement; or (ii) currently in receipt of a shelter supple-
    20  ment,  other  than  a supplement required by this section, that is being
    21  transferred to the home stability support program pursuant  to  subdivi-
    22  sion eight of this section, shall be eligible for the shelter supplement
    23  provided under this section.
    24    4.  (a)  Local  social  services  districts  shall provide the shelter
    25  supplement required under this section for up to  five  years,  provided
    26  such  individuals  or families are otherwise eligible for public assist-
    27  ance. A shelter supplement may be provided for an additional  length  of
    28  time for good cause.
    29    (b)  If an individual or family receiving the shelter supplement is no
    30  longer  eligible  for  public  assistance,  the  local  social  services
    31  district shall continue to provide the shelter supplement, and if appro-
    32  priate  heating  allowance,  for one year from the date of such determi-
    33  nation, so long as their income does not exceed two hundred  percent  of
    34  the federal poverty level.
    35    5.  The shelter supplement and heating allowance shall not be affected
    36  by a recipient's sanction status.
    37    6. (a) The commissioner shall contract with  not-for-profit  agencies,
    38  that  have  experience  providing  support  services to the homeless and
    39  at-risk of homelessness populations, for the purpose of  providing  home
    40  stability  support services. Such services shall assist eligible recipi-
    41  ents, as defined in subdivision three of this section, in avoiding home-
    42  lessness and achieving long-term housing stability.  Such services shall
    43  include, but not be limited to:
    44    (i) services to resolve conflicts between landlords and tenants and to
    45  facilitate fair and workable solutions;
    46    (ii) referrals to legal services to  households  threatened  with  the
    47  loss of their homes through eviction, harassment or other means;
    48    (iii)  benefit/entitlement  advocacy  to  ensure  that  households are
    49  receiving all federal, state and local benefits to which they are  enti-
    50  tled, such as temporary assistance to needy families, safety net assist-
    51  ance,  supplemental  nutrition assistance program, supplemental security
    52  income, rent security deposits, furniture and household moving expenses,
    53  medical assistance; and
    54    (iv) relocation assistance which provides for  the  identification  of
    55  and   referral   to  permanent  and  habitable  housing,  transportation

        A. 8178                             4
 
     1  services, landlord/tenant lease negotiation services and  assistance  in
     2  establishing utility services.
     3    (b)  The  commissioner  shall    issue a request-for-proposal for home
     4  stability support services. The request-for-proposal shall include:
     5    (i) a description  of  the  home  stability  support  services  to  be
     6  provided,  including  procedures  for  intake,  referral,  outreach, the
     7  provision of services, follow-up and anticipated outcomes;
     8    (ii) a description of the manner  in  which  coordination  with  other
     9  federal,  state,  local  and privately funded services will be achieved;
    10  and
    11    (iii) a description of how the services will  be  designed  to  assist
    12  households to achieve housing stability.
    13    (c)  Prior  to  entering into a contract pursuant to this subdivision,
    14  the commissioner shall determine that the eligible applicant is  a  bona
    15  fide  organization which shall have demonstrated by its past and current
    16  activities that it has the ability to provide such  services,  that  the
    17  organization  is financially responsible and that the proposal is appro-
    18  priate for the needs of households to be served.
    19    7. The home stability support program shall provide for up to a  total
    20  of fourteen thousand new shelter supplements a year statewide, and funds
    21  shall  be  distributed  to  each local social services district based on
    22  their pro rata share of households below the federal  poverty  level  in
    23  the  state,  using the most recent United States census data as of April
    24  first, two thousand seventeen, and annually thereafter.
    25    8. If local social services districts offer a shelter  supplement  not
    26  required  by this section, such districts may utilize supplements avail-
    27  able under this section on or after October first,  two  thousand  nine-
    28  teen, to transfer eligible recipients as defined in subparagraph (ii) of
    29  paragraph (b) of subdivision three of this section into the home stabil-
    30  ity  support  program.  Provided, however, a district shall not allocate
    31  one hundred percent of their shelter  supplements  provided  under  this
    32  section to existing supplement recipients, unless there is no current or
    33  unmet  need  for supplements as defined in subparagraph (i) of paragraph
    34  (b) of subdivision three of this section in such district.
    35    9. The commissioner shall issue a report on the home stability support
    36  program to the governor, the speaker  of  the  assembly,  the  temporary
    37  president  of  the  senate, the chairs of the senate and assembly social
    38  services committees, and the chairs  of  the  assembly  ways  and  means
    39  committee and the senate finance committee on or before October first of
    40  each  year,  starting  October first, two thousand twenty, regarding the
    41  effectiveness of the program, based on the information provided from the
    42  local social services districts. Each local district, upon  the  request
    43  of  the  office,  shall  provide  the  office the necessary data for the
    44  completion of the report. Each report shall include the following infor-
    45  mation for each district:
    46    (a) the number of individuals participating in the program;
    47    (b) factors contributing to households  experiencing  housing  issues,
    48  including,   but  not  limited  to,  health  and  safety  and  budgeting
    49  constraints;
    50    (c) total funding utilized;
    51    (d) estimated avoided costs in temporary shelter; and
    52    (e) any other information or  available  data  that  the  commissioner
    53  deems relevant and necessary for comprehensive evaluation of the current
    54  need of entitlements for public assistance recipients.
    55    § 2. Section 153 of the social services law is amended by adding a new
    56  subdivision 13 to read as follows:

        A. 8178                             5
 
     1    13.  Notwithstanding  any  other provision of law to the contrary, one
     2  hundred percent of costs for shelter  supplements  including  costs  for
     3  heating  expenses,  and  home  stability  support  services  required by
     4  section one hundred thirty-one-bb of this article shall  be  subject  to
     5  reimbursement by the state, as follows:
     6    (a)  by  federal  funds  that can be properly applied to such expendi-
     7  tures; and
     8    (b) the remainder to be paid by state funds.
     9    § 3. This act shall take effect on April 1, 2018.
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