NYC bill would boost rental vouchers for homeless

More than two-thirds of Council members support the measure, but Mayor de Blasio has expressed reservations

TRD New York /
Jan.January 15, 2020 12:00 PM
Councilman Stephen Levin (Credit: Facebook, Getty Images)  

Councilman Stephen Levin (Credit: Facebook, Getty Images)

A City Council bill that would raise the amount of money given to people transitioning from homeless shelters to affordable housing is gaining support.

The measure, sponsored by Council member Stephen Levin, would boost the value of rental vouchers to federally mandated fair market value, according to the New York Daily News. That would widen the options for tenants in search of affordable housing.

Almost three dozen Council members are backing the measure, but Mayor Bill de Blasio has reservations, saying it could give New York state an option to avoid contributing funding toward the homeless crisis. Council Speaker Corey Johnson has not commented on the bill but may do so soon, according to the report.

The vouchers, administered through the City Fighting Homelessness & Eviction Prevention Supplement program, would rise to $2,472 from $2,040 a month for a three-bedroom apartment, and to $1,714 and $1,951 for one- and two-bedroom units, respectively.

The cost could be between $12 million and $20 million, the News reported.

The move follows a series of steps taken to address homelessness. Last month, the Council approved a bill requiring new residential developments of 41 or more units to house homeless residents in at least 15 percent of those units if the project receives financial assistance from the city. [NYDN] — David Jeans

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