New Yorkers with CityFHEPS Housing Vouchers will now be able to find Permanent, Affordable Homes not only within New York City but also across New York State
New York, NY
New York City Mayor Eric Adams has announced further innovations to the City Fighting Homelessness and Eviction Prevention Supplement (CityFHEPS) rental assistance program that will immediately and significantly expand access to housing for New Yorkers with housing vouchers. While New York City continues to face a serious housing shortage with a record-high shelter population totaling more than 113,000 individuals in the city’s care, CityFHEPS voucher holders will now be able to utilize their voucher to obtain permanent, affordable housing not only within New York City but also in any county or locality across New York State.
“As a result of a housing crisis and more than 116,000 asylum seekers arriving in New York City asking for shelter since last spring, we have more people than ever in the city’s care. Our shelters are far past capacity, but thousands of households still remain stuck without any affordable housing options across the five boroughs. Now is the time to create new options for permanent affordable housing for New Yorkers by expanding CityFHEPS even further than this administration did earlier this year,” said Mayor Adams. “These reforms will give longtime New Yorkers the ability to move out of our city’s shelter system to other parts of the state with more affordable housing options, while simultaneously opening up space in our city’s shelter system for the approximately 10,000 migrants who continue to arrive in the city seeking shelter month after month. We hope our partners across the state will greet these longtime New Yorkers with open arms and good job opportunities.”
“Today’s announcement puts more choices in the hands of New Yorkers who hold CityFHEPS vouchers by increasing the housing stock from which they can choose,” said Deputy Mayor for Health and Human Services Anne Williams-Isom. “They can now settle here in the city or anywhere across the state, thereby quickening the rate at which they can secure stable housing for themselves and their families. This important policy change helps take one more step in the city’s effort to help every individual and family secure a permanent home.”
The commonsense step Mayor Adams is taking will build on the significant progress the city has already made to connect vulnerable New Yorkers, including those in the city’s shelter system, to permanent, affordable housing. In the last year, the Adams administration implemented robust reforms and process improvements to expand access to CityFHEPS vouchers and then eliminated the 90-day length-of-stay requirement for New Yorkers in shelter to be eligible for CityFHEPS vouchers — allowing New Yorkers who would have otherwise been required to wait 90 days before becoming eligible for a housing voucher to immediately become eligible for CityFHEPS and bringing them one step closer to finding permanent housing.
Those changes helped contribute to the Adams administration making historic progress in moving New Yorkers from shelter into permanent housing by connecting more households to permanent homes in New York City with CityFHEPS last year than in any year since the program’s inception. Furthermore, in Fiscal Year 2023, DSS helped 15,000 households move out of shelters and into permanent housing using a variety of tools and subsidies — an approximate increase of 18% over the prior fiscal year. As a result of the agency’s focused efforts, new initiatives, and process improvements, DSS also increased overall placements in supportive housing by 32% year-over-year.
New York City’s severe housing shortage has been one of the greatest impediments to the administration’s efforts to connect New Yorkers experiencing homelessness or housing insecurity to stable, affordable housing, as less than 1% of apartments with rents below $1,500 are currently available for new tenants — the lowest in 30 years. As a result, thousands of households with housing vouchers are currently living in shelters, unable to find permanent, affordable housing. By allowing CityFHEPS voucher holders the opportunity to identify and obtain housing outside of the five boroughs, the city is expanding a critical pathway out of shelter and into permanent, affordable housing, while simultaneously reaffirming its commitment to voucher holders who have long requested additional flexibility to explore housing opportunities beyond the bounds of New York City. Housing mobility is a key pillar of fair housing policy, and this step will help better align the CityFHEPS voucher program with the federal Section 8 voucher program in that regard.
As the Adams administration enters the second year of responding, largely alone, to a global humanitarian crisis, and the federal government declines to implement the national decompression strategy Mayor Adams has urged for months, such solutions are critical to the city’s efforts to quickly move more New Yorkers from shelter into permanent housing and make additional space available for tens of thousands of asylum seekers, as well as the large population of longtime unhoused New Yorkers.