Bill Text: NY A06032 | 2021-2022 | General Assembly | Introduced

Bill Title: Relates to the creation of home stability support supplement programs.

Spectrum: Moderate Partisan Bill (Democrat 82-19)

Status: (Introduced) 2021-03-04 - referred to social services [A06032 Detail]

Download: New_York-2021-A06032-Introduced.html

                STATE OF NEW YORK


                               2021-2022 Regular Sessions

                   IN ASSEMBLY

                                      March 4, 2021

        Introduced  by  M. of A. L. ROSENTHAL, HEVESI, BARRON, GOTTFRIED, BRAUN-
          NELLO, BLANKENBUSH, PALMESANO -- Multi-Sponsored by -- M. of A. BRABE-
          once and referred to the Committee on Social Services

        AN ACT to amend the social services law, in relation to  home  stability
          support programs

          The  People of the State of New York, represented in Senate and Assem-
        bly, do enact as follows:

     1    Section 1. The social services law is amended by adding a new  section
     2  131-bb to read as follows:
     3    §  131-bb. Home stability support program.  1. (a) Notwithstanding any
     4  other provision of law to  the  contrary,  each  local  social  services
     5  district  shall provide a shelter supplement to eligible individuals and
     6  families to prevent eviction and address homelessness in accordance with
     7  this section.
     8    (b) For the purposes of this section:
     9    (i) "homeless" shall mean the lack of a fixed, regular,  and  adequate
    10  nighttime  residence;  having  a  primary  nighttime residence that is a
    11  public or private place not designed for or ordinarily used as a regular

         EXPLANATION--Matter in italics (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                              [ ] is old law to be omitted.

        A. 6032                             2

     1  sleeping accommodation for human beings, including a  car,  park,  aban-
     2  doned  building,  bus  or  train station, airport or campground or other
     3  places not meant for human habitation; living in a  supervised  publicly
     4  or  privately  operated  shelter  designated to provide temporary living
     5  arrangements (including hotels and motels paid for by federal, state  or
     6  local  government  programs  for low-income individuals or by charitable
     7  organizations, congregate shelters, or transitional housing); exiting an
     8  institution where they  resided  and  will  lack  a  regular  fixed  and
     9  adequate  nighttime residence upon release or discharge; or are an unac-
    10  companied youth and homeless families with children and youth defined as
    11  homeless under either this paragraph or federal statute who have experi-
    12  enced a long-term period without living independently in permanent hous-
    13  ing; have experienced persistent instability  as  measured  by  frequent
    14  moves;  and  can  be expected to continue in such status for an extended
    15  period of time because of chronic disabilities, chronic physical  health
    16  or  mental health conditions, substance addiction, histories of domestic
    17  violence or childhood abuse, the presence of a child  or  youth  with  a
    18  disability,  or  multiple  barriers to employment, or other dangerous or
    19  life-threatening  conditions,  including  conditions  that   relate   to
    20  violence against an individual or a family member; and
    21    (ii)  "imminent loss of housing" shall mean having received a verified
    22  rent demand or a petition for eviction; having received  a  court  order
    23  resulting from an eviction action that notifies the individual or family
    24  that  they  must  leave  their  housing;  facing  loss of housing due to
    25  hazardous conditions, including but not limited to asbestos, lead  expo-
    26  sure,  mold,  and  radon; having a primary nighttime residence that is a
    27  room in a hotel or motel and  lack  the  resources  necessary  to  stay;
    28  facing loss of the primary nighttime residence, which may include living
    29  in the home of another household, where the owner or renter of the hous-
    30  ing  will  not allow the individual or family to stay, provided further,
    31  that an assertion from an individual or family member alleging such loss
    32  of housing or homelessness shall be sufficient to establish eligibility;
    33  or, fleeing, or attempting to flee, domestic violence, dating  violence,
    34  sexual  assault, stalking, human trafficking or other dangerous or life-
    35  threatening conditions that relate to violence against the individual or
    36  a family member, provided further that an assertion from  an  individual
    37  or family member alleging such abuse and loss of housing shall be suffi-
    38  cient to establish eligibility.
    39    2.  (a)  Each  local  social services district shall provide a shelter
    40  supplement to eligible individuals and families as defined  in  subdivi-
    41  sion  three of this section in an amount equal to eighty-five percent of
    42  the fair market rent in the district,  as  established  by  the  federal
    43  department  of  housing  and  urban development, for the particular unit
    44  size. The shelter  supplement  shall  be  issued  by  the  local  social
    45  services district directly to the landlord or vendor.
    46    (b)  A  local  social services district may also provide an additional
    47  supplement in excess of eighty-five percent of the fair market rent,  up
    48  to  one  hundred  percent  of  the  fair market rent in the district, as
    49  established by the federal department of housing and urban  development.
    50  Provided,  however,  the cost of the additional supplement shall be paid
    51  by the local social services district.
    52    (c) As part of the supplement referenced in this subdivision, when  an
    53  eligible  recipient,  as  defined  in subdivision three of this section,
    54  incurs separate fuel for heating expenses,  the  local  social  services
    55  district  shall  provide  additional  funds  to  cover such expenses, in
    56  excess of the amount already required  for  shelter  costs  pursuant  to

        A. 6032                             3

     1  paragraph  (a)  of  this  subdivision.  Such  heating allowance shall be
     2  equivalent to the full amount of fuel for heating expenses, and shall be
     3  made directly to the vendor on behalf of  the  recipient.  Any  expenses
     4  incurred by the local social services district that are (i) in excess of
     5  a  recipient's  fuel  for heating allowance authorized pursuant to para-
     6  graph (b) of subdivision two of section one hundred thirty-one-a of this
     7  title; (ii) made pursuant to section ninety-seven of  this  chapter;  or
     8  (iii)  to cover any arrears payments made to restore heating services or
     9  to prevent a shut-off, shall not be recoupable.
    10    (d) Individuals not in receipt of public  assistance,  residing  in  a
    11  household  that  is  benefiting  from  a  shelter  supplement under this
    12  section shall be required to contribute thirty percent  of  their  gross
    13  income,  or  their  pro rata share of the rent, whichever is less. Minor
    14  children without income shall not be  counted  in  the  pro  rata  share
    15  equation. In addition, the income of minor children shall not be consid-
    16  ered part of the gross income.
    17    (e)  Any supplement or allowance provided under this section shall not
    18  be considered to be part of the standard of need as defined in paragraph
    19  (b) of subdivision ten of  section  one  hundred  thirty-one-a  of  this
    20  title.
    21    (f)  In  the  event that the local social services district determines
    22  that payment of rental arrears would  prevent  homelessness  and  subse-
    23  quently pays such arrears, such payments shall not be recoupable.
    24    3. (a) For the period beginning October first, two thousand twenty-two
    25  until  September  thirtieth,  two thousand twenty-three, individuals, or
    26  families, who are eligible for public assistance, are either homeless or
    27  face an imminent loss of housing, and are not currently receiving anoth-
    28  er shelter supplement shall  be  eligible  for  the  shelter  supplement
    29  provided under this section.
    30    (b) On and after October first, two thousand twenty-three, individuals
    31  or  families who are eligible for public assistance and are (i) homeless
    32  or face an imminent loss of housing, and  are  not  currently  receiving
    33  another  shelter  supplement;  or (ii) currently in receipt of a shelter
    34  supplement, other than a supplement required by this  section,  that  is
    35  being  transferred  to  the  home  stability support program pursuant to
    36  subdivision eight of this section, shall be  eligible  for  the  shelter
    37  supplement provided under this section.
    38    4.  (a)  Local  social  services  districts  shall provide the shelter
    39  supplement required under this section for up to  five  years,  provided
    40  such  individuals  or families are otherwise eligible for public assist-
    41  ance. A shelter supplement may be provided for an additional  length  of
    42  time for good cause.
    43    (b)  If an individual or family receiving the shelter supplement is no
    44  longer  eligible  for  public  assistance,  the  local  social  services
    45  district shall continue to provide the shelter supplement, and if appro-
    46  priate  heating  allowance,  for one year from the date of such determi-
    47  nation, so long as their income does not exceed two hundred  percent  of
    48  the federal poverty level.
    49    5.  The shelter supplement and heating allowance shall not be affected
    50  by a recipient's sanction status.
    51    6. (a) The commissioner shall contract with  not-for-profit  agencies,
    52  that  have  experience  providing  support  services to the homeless and
    53  at-risk of homelessness populations, for the purpose of  providing  home
    54  stability  support services. Such services shall assist eligible recipi-
    55  ents, as defined in subdivision three of this section, in avoiding home-

        A. 6032                             4

     1  lessness and achieving long-term housing stability. Such services  shall
     2  include, but not be limited to:
     3    (i) services to resolve conflicts between landlords and tenants and to
     4  facilitate fair and workable solutions;
     5    (ii)  referrals  to  legal  services to households threatened with the
     6  loss of their homes through eviction, harassment or other means;
     7    (iii) benefit/entitlement  advocacy  to  ensure  that  households  are
     8  receiving  all federal, state and local benefits to which they are enti-
     9  tled, such as temporary assistance to needy families, safety net assist-
    10  ance, supplemental nutrition assistance program,  supplemental  security
    11  income, rent security deposits, furniture and household moving expenses,
    12  medical assistance; and
    13    (iv)  relocation  assistance  which provides for the identification of
    14  and  referral  to  permanent  and  habitable   housing,   transportation
    15  services,  landlord/tenant  lease negotiation services and assistance in
    16  establishing utility services.
    17    (b) The commissioner shall   issue  a  request-for-proposal  for  home
    18  stability support services. The request-for-proposal shall include:
    19    (i)  a  description  of  the  home  stability  support  services to be
    20  provided, including  procedures  for  intake,  referral,  outreach,  the
    21  provision of services, follow-up and anticipated outcomes;
    22    (ii)  a  description  of  the  manner in which coordination with other
    23  federal, state, local and privately funded services  will  be  achieved;
    24  and
    25    (iii)  a  description  of  how the services will be designed to assist
    26  households to achieve housing stability.
    27    (c) Prior to entering into a contract pursuant  to  this  subdivision,
    28  the  commissioner  shall determine that the eligible applicant is a bona
    29  fide organization which shall have demonstrated by its past and  current
    30  activities  that  it  has the ability to provide such services, that the
    31  organization is financially responsible and that the proposal is  appro-
    32  priate for the needs of households to be served.
    33    7.  The home stability support program shall provide for up to a total
    34  of fourteen thousand new shelter supplements a year statewide, and funds
    35  shall be distributed to each local social  services  district  based  on
    36  their  pro  rata  share of households below the federal poverty level in
    37  the state, using the most recent United States census data as  of  April
    38  first, two thousand twenty-one, and annually thereafter.
    39    8.  If  local social services districts offer a shelter supplement not
    40  required by this section, such districts may utilize supplements  avail-
    41  able  under this section on or after October first, two thousand twenty-
    42  three, to transfer eligible recipients as defined in  subparagraph  (ii)
    43  of  paragraph  (b)  of  subdivision  three of this section into the home
    44  stability support program. Provided, however, a district shall not allo-
    45  cate one hundred percent of their  shelter  supplements  provided  under
    46  this  section  to  existing  supplement  recipients,  unless there is no
    47  current or unmet need for supplements as defined in subparagraph (i)  of
    48  paragraph (b) of subdivision three of this section in such district.
    49    9. The commissioner shall issue a report on the home stability support
    50  program  to  the  governor,  the  speaker of the assembly, the temporary
    51  president of the senate, the chairs of the senate  and  assembly  social
    52  services  committees,  and  the  chairs  of  the assembly ways and means
    53  committee and the senate finance committee on or before October first of
    54  each year, starting October first, two thousand  twenty-four,  regarding
    55  the effectiveness of the program, based on the information provided from
    56  the  local  social  services  districts.  Each  local district, upon the

        A. 6032                             5

     1  request of the office, shall provide the office the necessary  data  for
     2  the  completion  of  the report. Each report shall include the following
     3  information for each district:
     4    (a) the number of individuals participating in the program;
     5    (b)  factors  contributing  to households experiencing housing issues,
     6  including,  but  not  limited  to,  health  and  safety  and   budgeting
     7  constraints;
     8    (c) total funding utilized;
     9    (d) estimated avoided costs in temporary shelter; and
    10    (e)  any  other  information  or  available data that the commissioner
    11  deems relevant and necessary for comprehensive evaluation of the current
    12  need of entitlements for public assistance recipients.
    13    § 2. Section 153 of the social services law is amended by adding a new
    14  subdivision 13 to read as follows:
    15    13. Notwithstanding any other provision of law to  the  contrary,  one
    16  hundred  percent  of  costs  for shelter supplements including costs for
    17  heating expenses,  and  home  stability  support  services  required  by
    18  section  one  hundred  thirty-one-bb of this article shall be subject to
    19  reimbursement by the state, as follows:
    20    (a) by federal funds that can be properly  applied  to  such  expendi-
    21  tures; and
    22    (b) the remainder to be paid by state funds.
    23    § 3. This act shall take effect on April 1, 2022.