Today’s Video: Helping the Homeless Find Affordable Homes

As State leaders negotiate the budget for fiscal year 2018, it is imperative that they consider the record number of New Yorkers in dire need of housing. In addition to immediately releasing the already-delayed funds for supportive housing, the Governor and Legislative leaders can combat homelessness by implementing Assemblymember Andrew Hevesi’s Home Stability Support program. This statewide rent subsidy for public assistance households facing eviction, homelessness, or loss of housing due to domestic violence or hazardous conditions would narrow the gap between the insufficient shelter allowance and fair market rents, thereby rescuing tens of thousands of households from homelessness.

The proposal, which would save the City about $316 million in its tenth year according to a recent analysis by Comptroller Scott Stringer, has gained broad bipartisan support and was included in the one-house budget documents the State Assembly, the Independent Democratic Conference, and the Senate Democratic Conference released this week.

Assemblymember Hevesi spoke with Liz Benjamin on Capital Tonight about the potential of Home Stability Support to dramatically prevent and reduce homelessness across New York, and the urgent need for the Governor and Legislative leaders to include the program in the final budget. As he explained:

“The reality is that the Governor is smart enough to realize that with a very small lift on his part in this year’s budget, he can turn the tide on homelessness. First, he can stop the trend from growing, and then also he can give the tens of thousands of families who are currently in shelter a chance to get out – and by doing that, save taxpayers in the long run about one-third of the money.

“We had for Home Stability Support a budget analysis done by the City Comptroller that said that over 10 years, you’re going to be saving hundreds of millions of dollars. In addition, the shelter census for children and families, in the tenth year, you’re going to drop that number by 80 percent. For single adults, you’ll drop that number by 40 percent. This is a win-win for everybody, so I’m hoping that the Governor realizes that this is a great opportunity for him to come in and do what he does and take a leadership role.”

Visit Capital Tonight to watch the full segment, and sign our petition calling on Governor Cuomo to support HSS.