Today’s Read: Plan to Address Homeless Crisis Gains Bipartisan Support

Tens of thousands of New Yorkers across the state are entering the new year homeless, and countless others are on the brink of losing their homes. The record scale of the crisis demands bold solutions, such as Assemblymember Andrew Hevesi’s Home Stability Support rental subsidy proposal.

HSS would establish a statewide rent subsidy for public assistance households facing eviction, homelessness, or loss of housing due to domestic violence or hazardous conditions. It would simultaneously keep people in their homes and save tax dollars by reducing reliance on costly emergency shelters. Research consistently shows that such long-term rent subsidies are the most effective way to keep people stably housed.

This innovative proposal has already secured endorsements from key City, State and Federal elected officials who are eager to protect men, women and children from the trauma of homelessness. You can add your name to the growing list of New Yorkers endorsing this socially and fiscally responsible solution: Please sign our petition calling on Governor Cuomo to support HSS.

Kenneth Lovett wrote about the growing momentum behind HSS for the New York Daily News:

This week, Hevesi and 110 of his Democratic and Republican Assembly colleagues — including Dem Majority Leader Joseph Morelle and GOP Minority Leader Brian Kolb — sent a letter to Gov. Cuomo pushing for its enactment.

“The problem of homelessness has reached a critical juncture, and the costs to our communities are unsustainable,” Hevesi and his 110 colleagues wrote to Cuomo. “It is time to boldly and adequately attack the preventable causes of record homelessness.”

Meanwhile, Sen. Jeffrey Klein, the leader of a breakaway group of Senate Democrats, said his conference will push the bill in his chamber.

Under Hevesi’s plan, a mishmash of state and local rent subsidies that he says are no longer effective would be replaced with a single state program for families and individuals facing eviction, homelessness, or loss of housing due to domestic violence or other dangerous conditions.

Currently, Hevesi said, there are more than 80,000 households on the brink of homelessness that would be eligible if the program is enacted by the Legislature and governor this year.

Hevesi said his program would cost the state and feds $450 million, but ultimately save taxpayers tens of millions of dollars by relying less on costly shelters.