April 8, 2022
NEW YORK, NY – In response to the release of the final New York State FY 2023 Budget, the Family Homelessness Coalition issues the following statement:
“The Family Homelessness Coalition believes efforts to combat family homelessness must include strong investments in affordable and supportive housing development as well as eviction prevention and long-term rent subsidies. We thank state leaders for committing $25 billion over five years to create and preserve 100,000 affordable homes, including 10,000 supportive housing units for our most vulnerable families and individuals.
We are also grateful to see the commitment of $800 million toward the Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP) to address the short-term emergency assistance needed by New Yorkers who have fallen behind on their rent during the pandemic, but we wish far more funding would have been included to meet the urgent need.
We are deeply disappointed that funding for the Housing Access Voucher Program (HAVP), which would have provided a long-term, desperately needed rent subsidy, was not included in the final budget. At a time when thousands of families are at risk of falling into the vicious cycle of homelessness and the life-altering trauma that comes with it, HAVP would have gone a long way to ensure New York families can stay in their homes and out of shelter. Without it, thousands of families will be pushed further to the brink of homelessness.
This is especially true for communities of color, who were hit hardest by the pandemic and are still the furthest away from economic recovery. Black women are more likely than other demographics to be evicted. Women living with children are twice as likely to remain out of work compared to men with children, and 30% of renters with children report that they are not caught up on rent payments.
The Coalition does not understand why HAVP was not included in the final budget. HAVP is a fiscally responsible proposal and would have saved the State money by preventing the need for costlier emergency measures down the road. The State also has the resources to fund this necessary program – which was supported by the Senate, the Assembly, housing advocates, and landlord groups – and would have helped New York make greater strides in advancing equity, closing racial gaps, and supporting New York families with children.
We urge Governor Hochul and the State Legislature to advance measures that end the chronic cycle of homelessness once and for all.