State Assemblymember Andrew Hevesi (D-Forest Hills, Rego Park, Richmond Hill, Glendale, Kew Gardens, Ridgewood, Middle Village) is proposing a plan to address homelessness across New York and it’s attracting a variety of supporters.
The Home Stability Support bill addresses the problem of families earning a shelter allowance that is lower than their market-rate rent by subsidizing the difference to get a apartment.
The plan would use federal and state funds to cover up to 85 percent of rent and heating bills. Moreover, localities can provide for up to 100 percent.
Homelessness is a growing issue in New York State with a surge in homeless families in New York City alone. Two-thirds of households requiring public assistance struggle to pay rent with inadequate shelter allowances. The bill would ensure less families and individuals lose their homes and become homeless.
Hevesi’s office estimates that the plan would cost around $11,200 per year for a household of three in New York City. In contrast, the cost of the city shelters is about $238,360. In total, the cost of the program is estimated at $450 million per year.
“The Home Stability Support is an effective, fiscally-responsible solution. By providing adequate rental assistance to families now, we can keep tens of thousands of people in their homes and save taxpayers millions of dollars,” Hevesi said.
The plan was first introduced in 2016 with endorsements from several State Assembly and State Senate representatives. In addition, The New York Times wrote an editorial endorsing the idea as a “bold plan” for New York.
Despite many leaders and organizations standing behind Hevesi’s bill, it failed to pass in Albany. With a new session, Hevesi is eager to pass the bill and talk to colleagues—especially Republican State Senators—to ensure his idea becomes law.
Hevesi explained that he appreciated renewed attention to his idea, specifically a New York Daily News editorial suggesting Hevesi’s plan as a remedy for the state’s homelessness crisis.
“They are separate issues, but we are happy that the Daily News editorial board has argued once again for HSS,” he said.