June 30, 2021
“The adopted FY22 New York City Budget goes a long way to support working families during the City’s economic recovery as families with children across the City are only beginning to dig themselves out of a year of loss, economic hardships and impossible choices. In particular, we applaud the City for passing fundamental pieces of legislation, including a bill to increase the value of the City FHEPS rental vouchers. As thousands owe back rent they will never be able to pay, this is an important step towards preventing shelter entry and enabling those in shelters to quickly exit to permanent housing. We are thankful that the budget restores cuts to the indirect rates for human services providers, increases funding for shelter security workers to have a prevailing wage, and makes ongoing investments in affordable housing. While the one-time bonus for human service providers recognizes the valuable work that they do on the ground, the lack of consistent COLA increases is deeply concerning, threatening the long-term economic-stability of vital services.
As New York continues to work to counteract the educational disruption brought on by the pandemic, special attention must be paid to children experiencing homelessness, who are most likely to have fallen behind in school. With $7 billion coming to the DOE in federal COVID-19 relief funding, much more should have been done to address the needs of students experiencing homelessness in this budget. Because much of this funding has been allocated in broad categories, it’s not too late to make sure that the City uses some of the funding to hire 150 shelter-based DOE community coordinators to reconnect students in shelters with school and help them access other educational supports. In order to truly create a ‘recovery for all,’ the City must remain laser focused on ending New York’s family homelessness crisis and addressing the needs of the thousands of women and children without a place to call home.”