Many states have adopted programs and initiatives to tackle the affordability crisis. In New York, policymakers and the housing industry have made concerted efforts to address the problem. Examples include:
Homebase is a neighborhood based program in New York City. The city works with community non-profits to provide services to households facing homelessness. Households receive services based on a scoring system that measures risk for homelessness. Households can receive emergency rental assistance, access to job training, and landlord-mediation services. Financial assistance is not guaranteed, and most assistance is not financial in nature. About 11,000 households are served by the program each year.
A one-time emergency grant, One Shot, offers applicants emergency grant assistance to cover first month's rent and security deposits on new apartments or rent arrearages. Households may receive up to six months of assistance over any five-year period. Approximately 30,000 households receive assistance each year.
The Real Property Tax Credit program provides a refundable tax credit to households who have lived in the same New York residence for six months and paid monthly rent of $450 or less, excluding utility payments. For people who are 65 and older, the maximum benefit was $375, and for others, it was $75.
Rural Rental Assistance Program
Through the Rural Rental Assistance Program, New York State provides up to 25 years of rental subsidies to projects that are financed using the USDA Rural Housing 515 program. Projects that have met the 25 year program obligation are now provided one additional year of RRAP rental subsidy each budget year if included in the enacted NYS budget. New York State stopped entering into any new RRAP contracts in 2008. Eligible tenants include any low income elderly and family tenants in rural areas of New York. Subsidies cover the difference between the monthly rent and 30% of income. The program serves about 4,475 low income renters in 219 projects across New York State.
Solutions to End Homelessness Program
The Solutions to End Homelessness Program (STEHP) provides assistance to individuals and families who lack stable housing. The program is managed by the Bureau of Housing and Support Services within the Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance. STEHP allocates funds to non-profit organizations or units of local government that operate programs including rapid-re-housing and eviction prevention, as well as supportive services tied to housing stabilization. An estimated 49,000 households are assisted on an annual basis. Assistance can be provided for up to 12 months; rental assistance can be provided up to six months.