|SAME AS||No Same As|
|COSPNSR||Sepulveda, 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|
|MLTSPNSR||Cahill, Friend, Lentol, McDonough, Solages|
|Add §131-bb, amd §153, Soc Serv L|
|Relates to the creation of home stability support supplement programs.|
|06/01/2017||referred to social services|
|06/07/2017||reported referred to ways and means|
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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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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. LBD11223-02-7A. 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 shareA. 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, transportationA. 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.