Statement from Family Homelessness Coalition in Response to New York State Budget


April 2, 2020

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 2, 2020

Statement from Family Homelessness Coalition in Response to New
York State Budget

ALBANY, NY — The Family Homelessness Coalition issued the following statement in response to the New York State budget:

“The COVID-19 crisis has already devastated the 70% of New York shelter residents who are families with children as well as families at risk of becoming homeless due to job losses and domestic violence. Every day that goes by without helping those families with children find safe, affordable housing exponentially exacerbates long-term trauma. It is unconscionable that in this moment of crisis, the New York State budget has yet again failed to fund Home Stability Support(HSS), which would prevent homelessness by implementing a statewide rental subsidy. In the midst of this crisis, New York is already seeing a surge in families needing shelter. Without HSS, many thousands more families will have no viable path to long-term housing stability.

“A short-term moratorium on evictions is necessary, but doesn’t go far enough to blunt long-term economic losses related to COVID-19. Without adequate rental assistance, landlords will continue to bear unsustainable financial burdens that threaten their ability to serve their tenants and families are likely to free fall deeper into crisis down the road when the moratorium is lifted.By comparison, expanding access to emergency rental assistance will help families raising children in shelters secure stable housing during the COVID-19 crisis and ensure that vulnerable families who already have permanent housing can afford to remain there. It will also save the State tax dollars in the long run. We urge New York State to pass legislation increasing access to emergency rental assistance as soon as possible. Lastly, we remain deeply concerned about the potential risk to shelter services for families in NYC as a result of more than a $100M reduction in state (TANF) funds, particularly in the midst of this health and economic crisis. Our State must ensure all families in New York are on the path towards housing stability as our state recovers from this unprecedented moment.”

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The Family Homelessness Coalition (FHC) is comprised of 16 organizations representing service and housing providers and children’s advocacy organizations including WIN, Advocates for Children and Coalition For The Homeless. FHC is united by the goal of launching a coordinated, collaborative, multi-agency effort focused on preventing family homelessness,improving the well-being of children and families in shelters, and supporting the long-term stability of families with children who leave shelters.

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