New York City Issues Nearly All Its Housing Vouchers

After a slow start to the program, the city has distributed 91 percent of the housing vouchers issued through the American Rescue Act. Now housing agencies must help recipients actually find housing.

2 minute read

July 19, 2022, 5:00 AM PDT

By Diana Ionescu @aworkoffiction

New York City has distributed almost all of the federal rental assistance vouchers provided by the American Rescue Plan, after only issuing less than one-third of the vouchers by March. As David Brand reports in City Limits, “The city agencies and nonprofits helping to administer the program blamed the initial distribution and lease up delays on onerous federal requirements, staff shortages and the challenge of linking various agencies that serve homeless New Yorkers.”

According to Brand, “Similar distribution delays were seen across the country, as local housing authorities slowly navigated the eligibility rules and began issuing the subsidies. Senior HUD officials told reporters Tuesday that the program is now on track for full ‘lease-up’—all 70,000 vouchers used to rent permanent housing—by the end of 2023.”

“To unlock more housing options, [the New York Department of Housing Preservation and Development] has urged developers to set aside units for people with EHVs in buildings created with city financing or subject to Mandatory Inclusionary Housing rules, which force owners to cap rents for people making a portion of the area median income. The city has also hired more than 80 housing navigators to help recipients find housing by identifying units and negotiating with landlords.”

Brand notes that “Federal funding for the EHVs will run out by 2030 without a re-appropriation from Congress,” but local lawmakers are confident that funding will likely be renewed.

Thursday, July 14, 2022 in City Limits

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