housing programs in new york city promoted by mayor bill de blasio

Is Bill de Blasio Rental Programs Working

Everyone agrees, Mayor Bill De Blasio new housing program linc, also known as Living In Communities and CityFeps are both effective and necessary. The programs were additionally expanded to include Veterans residing in the New York City shelter system.  In the short term they have moved more residents from the shelter system into permanent stable housing faster than any other program, or so it seems.  In an effort to reduce the population residing in the shelters of New York City, the mayor's new housing program provides cash incentives to landlords, tenants, realtors and housing placement organizations. The programs became an overnight success as everyone scrambled to cash in.  But as we all learned from the mortgage crisis of 2007, actions that might seem a short term success can actually destroy the economy.  This doom and gloom outlook is surely to follow the mayor's new housing programs, if changes are not made immediately.

The focus of the mayor's new rental initiatives are actually erasing years of successfully branding the Section 8 program in the New York City region. For many years, landlords in the area with private residential homes (1-4 units) who accepted Section 8 would re-new leases for existing tenants.  These tenants took care of the home, paid their portion of the rent on time and followed all the landlord rules.   As landlords, become more aware of the mayor's new programs and the cash incentives, many good Section 8 tenants are now being told their leases will not be renewed.  If they are not successful in finding new residency (and many are not), they have no other option but to check back into the shelter system or live with family and friends.

Individuals living with aids, who receive rental assistance from HASA are also feeling the reverse effects of the mayor's new housing programs.  They too have to compete with higher rent limits offered to residents living in the shelter system, as well as more cash incentives.

Residents with the housing program FEPS also share a similar heartache. The alternate program offered to tenants in the shelter known as CityFeps, offers more cash incentives and higher rent limits. For example, a resident with a 1 bedroom voucher has a rent limit of $900, while a resident with a similar CityFeps voucher has a rent limit of $1268, at lease signing pays the landlord a $1000 bonus and 4 months advance rent.  FEPS renters also are caught in the backlash as private landlords opt to sign-up for the Mayor's new housing programs rather than renew their leases.

The mayor's office also has an aggressive call center contacting landlords that have tenants presently enrolled in a rental program, other than the mayor's new initiative and encouraging them to rent future available apartments to one of the mayor's new program.  In many cases, these landlords will not renew existing leases, thereby forcing these tenants to seek new residence, move back into the shelter system or to live with family.

While the Bill De Blasio administration is clearly passionate about reducing the homeless population in New York City, good intentions alone are not enough. Success cannot be achieved on the backs of another group or by tearing down the achievements of a previous administration.  In the longterm, New York City will not be a better place for persons with rental assistance due to the Mayor's shortsighted decisions. Incentives and resources need to be shared equally between all programs. Call centers should not only be promoting the mayor's new programs or encouraging landlords to rent to them. The $1000 bonus given to new landlords that sign-up with the mayor's new programs should also be offered to existing tenants outside the shelter system who receive rental assistance but have an expiring lease, or not offered at all.  New York City is a great place because we make an extended effort to treat everyone fairly.  Lets continue this tradition.

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Comments ( 5 )

  • Tiff

    Can you recieve cityfeps if you arnt in a shelter? If so how do u apply

    • Admin

      Contact your housing specialist in the shelter to apply.

  • My mother(Landlord) has been put thru the ringer by one of THESE tenants who does not appreciate all the money that was laid out to get apartment up to par, new carpet through out, tiles, compound, painting, plumbing and electrical(thousands of dollars worth). Just so they can come in and treat the property like garbage and run up her gas and water bills $4,000 for a water bill, really. Breaking a water pipe in the bathroom and then saying it just happened. How? I’m sure not all tenants on these programs are this way but the ones that are should just be left in the shelters. What the Mayor or the office that runs these programs should do is make the tenants sign a contract that states, if you damage the apartments that we are subsidizing, you will be required to pay for said damage and you will be removed from said program for at least a year for the first offense, if you do it again, NO MORE SUBSIDIES FOR YOU, EVER. I bet all this crap would stop almost immediately.

    • Admin

      Hi Sam,

      You must remember that during the housing crash of 2007 many of the homeowners were folks that had great credit, but stuff happens. Bad stuff sometimes happens to good people. Not everyone in the shelter are horrible and intent on destroying your property. Many folks are in the shelter for a variety of reasons that was beyond their control and are overall very decent people that only want a chance. In your case you had a bad relationship with your tenant but many folks are not like that. I am not trying to color this either and suggest all clients in the shelter are great because this is not the realty. But we are personally aware of some income earning clients that had some serious issues as well. So your bad experience is not exclusive to only folks that live in the shelter.

      We always suggest screening and working with a realtor or management company that can help you to navigate the process. If you need help with this we can assist.

      As well, the mayor’s program offers an additional $3,000 deposit if the property is damaged or if you have missed rent. No other program offers that. Considering that you already have the security voucher, this means you have almost 3.5x the normal security deposit. This means you are seriously covered for any damages. All properties have repair issues and as landlord’s you should expect it. It’s just a normal process of being a landlord.

      We are sorry to hear about your bad experience and hope you will have much better luck in the future.

  • Rose Ngadi

    Most Tenant had refused to pay rent private Landlord (1-4) Family House, so that they could get eviction notice to enter into the NYC shelter system. Tenants abusing Landlords and the Shelter system. Check with NYC BRONX HOUSING COURT SYSTEM. For example some Tenants owe rent and was evicted with $10,000.00 to $60,000.00 Rent Amount. NONPAYMENT OF RENTS TO LANDLORDS. MAYOR OFFICE NEED TO LOOK INTO HOUSING COURT FOR TENANTS ABUSING LANDLORDS. How will these Landlords Pay for water and sewage, Electricity, Gas, Heat and Hot Water, Property Tax, Home Insurance, and Mortgage to avoid Foreclosure. We really need your help NYC Mayor .

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