Affordable housing can be very challenging to find in a City as expensive as New York. This challenge was made even more difficult for homeless New Yorkers during the last mayoral administration due to changes made in priority for public housing and the elimination of other housing subsidies. The Coalition continues to advocate for prioritizing homeless New Yorkers for public housing and for increased housing options to address this crisis.
Although housing options are limited at present, there may be a program or resource you qualify for listed below (depending on your individual circumstances) — please also use the links included for more detailed information on each type of assistance.
If you are looking for more information on any of the programs below you can also seek assistance by coming to the Coalition’s Crisis Intervention Program.
Supportive Housing includes a wide range of housing options with different levels of support. Most supportive housing is designed for individuals who are homeless and have a mental health condition, but some supportive housing is also available to adults with substance abuse issues, individuals with HIV/AIDS, and to young adults aging out of foster care. Supportive housing is also open to families for the same reasons, though there are much fewer units available. Click here to learn more about Supportive Housing.
Public Housing/Section 8
Public housing and Section 8 are both subsidized housing where tenants pay 30% of their income towards the rent. Applicants are assigned a priority and are placed on the wait list based on their priority. Public Housing continues to take applications, but the waiting list for Section 8 has been closed since 2009. Click here to learn more about Public Housing and Section 8.
Living in Communities Programs (LINC)
The LINC programs were rolled out over a six month period beginning in the fall of 2014 to help homeless families and single adults find permanent housing. The programs were created through an emergency order issued by the Mayor and HRA Commissioner. They are administered jointly by the Department of Homeless Services (DHS) and the Human Resources Administration (HRA) and eligibility is specific to each program. Click here to learn more about the various LINC programs.
CITY FEPS is a housing subsidy program available to families with minor children that are staying in shelter and qualify for public assistance cash benefits. Families much be at risk of eviction or have been evicted in the past. It is also available to some survivors of domestic violence and those families living in a shelter that has been identified for closure. Click here for more information.
Family Eviction Prevention Supplement (FEPS)
FEPS is a monthly subsidy that is available to families with children who receive Public Assistance and have been taken to court for nonpayment of rent. In certain cases FEPS can also assist with past arrears. Click here to learn more about FEPS.
Special Exit and Prevention Supplement (SEPS)
HOME Tenant Based Rental Assistance is run collectively by a number of City agencies and funded by the federal government. It is available to households that are currently homeless with at least two members, a pregnant person, or a chronically street homeless individual who also receive disability benefits of some kind. A limited number of coupons were available and the initial application period closed 9/3/15. Please click here for additional information.
New affordable housing units that are created are often filled through housing lotteries. The lotteries have minimum and maximum income requirements that can change for each building, but if accepted, tenants usually pay about 30% of their income towards the rent. Units that become vacant after tenants move out are often filled through wait lists and other applications. Click here to learn more about housing lotteries.
Other Housing Assistance
There are other housing resources, such as one-shot deals or enhanced one-shot deals, that may be worth exploring, depending on your individual circumstances. There are also housing search tools that may help in finding an appropriate unit.
One-shot deals are available through the Human Resources Administration (HRA). They are intended to be one-time emergency grants paid to the landlord to resolve rental arrears as long as the individual or family in need has a documented way of paying their rent going forward. They can also be provided to assist with the necessary move-in fees for a new apartment when it will help to prevent homelessness or move a household out of homelessness. Click here for more information on eligibility requirements and how to apply for a one-shot deal.
Enhanced One-Shot Deals (EOSD)
Enhanced one-shot deals (EOSD) are slightly larger grants available to households in the shelter system, but have stricter eligibility criteria and must be approved by both the Department of Homeless Services (DHS) and HRA. Click here for more information on eligibility requirements and how to apply for an EOSD.
MRT Housing Resources
The Medicaid Redesign Team (MRT) has identified housing as a priority for individuals with multiple, serious medical conditions who are also homeless. As a result, MRT has set aside some of the savings from the implementation of its reforms to fund a limited number of permanent housing resources. Individuals who receive services from a health home or care coordinator may qualify.
Individuals interested in exploring MRT housing as an option should contact their care coordinator or health home. If you are a client with multiple chronic health conditions and believe you may qualify, you can contact your social worker or case manager to discuss further if you are eligible for care coordination services.
If you have additional questions or need further assistance regarding MRT Housing, please come into our Crisis Intervention Program to speak with an advocate.
Searching for an Apartment
Please note that New York City law explicitly prohibits housing discrimination on the basis of lawful source of income, including rental subsidies – meaning it is illegal for landlords to turn you away just because you would pay rent with a voucher such as LINC, FEPS or Section 8. If you believe that you have experienced this type of housing discrimination, please report it through one of these resources:
- Call the NYC Human Resources Administration complaint hotline at 718-291-4141.
- File a complaint with the NYC Commission on Human Rights through this online form or by calling 311 or 212-306-7450.
- Call the Fair Housing Justice Center at 212–400-8201 or toll-free at 1-866-350-FHJC.