Bill Text: NY S09195 | 2017-2018 | General Assembly | Introduced

Bill Title: Relates to the creation of home stability support supplement programs.

Spectrum: Partisan Bill (Democrat 1-0)

Status: (Introduced - Dead) 2018-11-28 - REFERRED TO RULES [S09195 Detail]

Download: New_York-2017-S09195-Introduced.html

                STATE OF NEW YORK
                    IN SENATE
                                    November 28, 2018
        Introduced  by  Sen. KRUEGER -- read twice and ordered printed, and when
          printed to be committed to the Committee on Rules
        AN ACT to amend the social services law, in relation to  home  stability
          support programs
          The  People of the State of New York, represented in Senate and Assem-
        bly, do enact as follows:
     1    Section 1. The social services law is amended by adding a new  section
     2  131-bb to read as follows:
     3    §  131-bb. Home stability support program.  1. (a) Notwithstanding any
     4  other provision of law to  the  contrary,  each  local  social  services
     5  district  shall provide a shelter supplement to eligible individuals and
     6  families to prevent eviction and address homelessness in accordance with
     7  this section.
     8    (b) For the purposes of this section:
     9    (i) "homeless" shall mean the lack of a fixed, regular,  and  adequate
    10  nighttime  residence;  having  a  primary  nighttime residence that is a
    11  public or private place not designed for or ordinarily used as a regular
    12  sleeping accommodation for human beings, including a  car,  park,  aban-
    13  doned  building,  bus  or  train station, airport or campground or other
    14  places not meant for human habitation; living in a  supervised  publicly
    15  or  privately  operated  shelter  designated to provide temporary living
    16  arrangements (including hotels and motels paid for by federal, state  or
    17  local  government  programs  for low-income individuals or by charitable
    18  organizations, congregate shelters, or transitional housing); exiting an
    19  institution where they  resided  and  will  lack  a  regular  fixed  and
    20  adequate  nighttime residence upon release or discharge; or are an unac-
    21  companied youth and homeless families with children and youth defined as
    22  homeless under either this paragraph or federal statute who have experi-
    23  enced a long-term period without living independently in permanent hous-
    24  ing; have experienced persistent instability  as  measured  by  frequent
    25  moves;  and  can  be expected to continue in such status for an extended
    26  period of time because of chronic disabilities, chronic physical  health
    27  or  mental health conditions, substance addiction, histories of domestic
    28  violence or childhood abuse, the presence of a child  or  youth  with  a
         EXPLANATION--Matter in italics (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                              [ ] is old law to be omitted.

        S. 9195                             2
     1  disability,  or  multiple  barriers to employment, or other dangerous or
     2  life-threatening  conditions,  including  conditions  that   relate   to
     3  violence against an individual or a family member; and
     4    (ii)  "imminent loss of housing" shall mean having received a verified
     5  rent demand or a petition for eviction; having received  a  court  order
     6  resulting from an eviction action that notifies the individual or family
     7  that  they  must  leave  their  housing;  facing  loss of housing due to
     8  hazardous conditions, including but not limited to asbestos, lead  expo-
     9  sure,  mold,  and  radon; having a primary nighttime residence that is a
    10  room in a hotel or motel and  lack  the  resources  necessary  to  stay;
    11  facing loss of the primary nighttime residence, which may include living
    12  in the home of another household, where the owner or renter of the hous-
    13  ing  will  not allow the individual or family to stay, provided further,
    14  that an assertion from an individual or family member alleging such loss
    15  of housing or homelessness shall be sufficient to establish eligibility;
    16  or, fleeing, or attempting to flee, domestic violence, dating  violence,
    17  sexual  assault, stalking, human trafficking or other dangerous or life-
    18  threatening conditions that relate to violence against the individual or
    19  a family member, provided further that an assertion from  an  individual
    20  or family member alleging such abuse and loss of housing shall be suffi-
    21  cient to establish eligibility.
    22    2.  (a)  Each  local  social services district shall provide a shelter
    23  supplement to eligible individuals and families as defined  in  subdivi-
    24  sion  three of this section in an amount equal to eighty-five percent of
    25  the fair market rent in the district,  as  established  by  the  federal
    26  department  of  housing  and  urban development, for the particular unit
    27  size. The shelter  supplement  shall  be  issued  by  the  local  social
    28  services district directly to the landlord or vendor.
    29    (b)  A  local  social services district may also provide an additional
    30  supplement in excess of eighty-five percent of the fair market rent,  up
    31  to  one  hundred  percent  of  the  fair market rent in the district, as
    32  established by the federal department of housing and urban  development.
    33  Provided,  however,  the cost of the additional supplement shall be paid
    34  by the local social services district.
    35    (c) As part of the supplement referenced in this subdivision, when  an
    36  eligible  recipient,  as  defined  in subdivision three of this section,
    37  incurs separate fuel for heating expenses,  the  local  social  services
    38  district  shall  provide  additional  funds  to  cover such expenses, in
    39  excess of the amount already required  for  shelter  costs  pursuant  to
    40  paragraph  (a)  of  this  subdivision.  Such  heating allowance shall be
    41  equivalent to the full amount of fuel for heating expenses, and shall be
    42  made directly to the vendor on behalf of  the  recipient.  Any  expenses
    43  incurred by the local social services district that are (i) in excess of
    44  a  recipient's  fuel  for heating allowance authorized pursuant to para-
    45  graph (b) of subdivision two of section one hundred thirty-one-a of this
    46  title; (ii) made pursuant to section ninety-seven of  this  chapter;  or
    47  (iii)  to cover any arrears payments made to restore heating services or
    48  to prevent a shut-off, shall not be recoupable.
    49    (d) Individuals not in receipt of public  assistance,  residing  in  a
    50  household  that  is  benefiting  from  a  shelter  supplement under this
    51  section shall be required to contribute thirty percent  of  their  gross
    52  income,  or  their  pro rata share of the rent, whichever is less. Minor
    53  children without income shall not be  counted  in  the  pro  rata  share
    54  equation. In addition, the income of minor children shall not be consid-
    55  ered part of the gross income.

        S. 9195                             3
     1    (e)  Any supplement or allowance provided under this section shall not
     2  be considered to be part of the standard of need as defined in paragraph
     3  (b) of subdivision ten of  section  one  hundred  thirty-one-a  of  this
     4  title.
     5    (f)  In  the  event that the local social services district determines
     6  that payment of rental arrears would  prevent  homelessness  and  subse-
     7  quently pays such arrears, such payments shall not be recoupable.
     8    3.  (a)  For the period beginning October first, two thousand eighteen
     9  until September thirtieth, two thousand nineteen, individuals, or  fami-
    10  lies,  who  are  eligible  for public assistance, are either homeless or
    11  face an imminent loss of housing, and are not currently receiving anoth-
    12  er shelter supplement shall  be  eligible  for  the  shelter  supplement
    13  provided under this section.
    14    (b)  On and after October first, two thousand nineteen, individuals or
    15  families who are eligible for public assistance and are (i) homeless  or
    16  face an imminent loss of housing, and are not currently receiving anoth-
    17  er shelter supplement; or (ii) currently in receipt of a shelter supple-
    18  ment,  other  than  a supplement required by this section, that is being
    19  transferred to the home stability support program pursuant  to  subdivi-
    20  sion eight of this section, shall be eligible for the shelter supplement
    21  provided under this section.
    22    4.  (a)  Local  social  services  districts  shall provide the shelter
    23  supplement required under this section for up to  five  years,  provided
    24  such  individuals  or families are otherwise eligible for public assist-
    25  ance. A shelter supplement may be provided for an additional  length  of
    26  time for good cause.
    27    (b)  If an individual or family receiving the shelter supplement is no
    28  longer  eligible  for  public  assistance,  the  local  social  services
    29  district shall continue to provide the shelter supplement, and if appro-
    30  priate  heating  allowance,  for one year from the date of such determi-
    31  nation, so long as their income does not exceed two hundred  percent  of
    32  the federal poverty level.
    33    5.  The shelter supplement and heating allowance shall not be affected
    34  by a recipient's sanction status.
    35    6. (a) The commissioner shall contract with  not-for-profit  agencies,
    36  that  have  experience  providing  support  services to the homeless and
    37  at-risk of homelessness populations, for the purpose of  providing  home
    38  stability  support services. Such services shall assist eligible recipi-
    39  ents, as defined in subdivision three of this section, in avoiding home-
    40  lessness and achieving long-term housing stability.  Such services shall
    41  include, but not be limited to:
    42    (i) services to resolve conflicts between landlords and tenants and to
    43  facilitate fair and workable solutions;
    44    (ii) referrals to legal services to  households  threatened  with  the
    45  loss of their homes through eviction, harassment or other means;
    46    (iii)  benefit/entitlement  advocacy  to  ensure  that  households are
    47  receiving all federal, state and local benefits to which they are  enti-
    48  tled, such as temporary assistance to needy families, safety net assist-
    49  ance,  supplemental  nutrition assistance program, supplemental security
    50  income, rent security deposits, furniture and household moving expenses,
    51  medical assistance; and
    52    (iv) relocation assistance which provides for  the  identification  of
    53  and   referral   to  permanent  and  habitable  housing,  transportation
    54  services, landlord/tenant lease negotiation services and  assistance  in
    55  establishing utility services.

        S. 9195                             4
     1    (b)  The  commissioner  shall    issue a request-for-proposal for home
     2  stability support services. The request-for-proposal shall include:
     3    (i)  a  description  of  the  home  stability  support  services to be
     4  provided, including  procedures  for  intake,  referral,  outreach,  the
     5  provision of services, follow-up and anticipated outcomes;
     6    (ii)  a  description  of  the  manner in which coordination with other
     7  federal, state, local and privately funded services  will  be  achieved;
     8  and
     9    (iii)  a  description  of  how the services will be designed to assist
    10  households to achieve housing stability.
    11    (c) Prior to entering into a contract pursuant  to  this  subdivision,
    12  the  commissioner  shall determine that the eligible applicant is a bona
    13  fide organization which shall have demonstrated by its past and  current
    14  activities  that  it  has the ability to provide such services, that the
    15  organization is financially responsible and that the proposal is  appro-
    16  priate for the needs of households to be served.
    17    7.  The home stability support program shall provide for up to a total
    18  of fourteen thousand new shelter supplements a year statewide, and funds
    19  shall be distributed to each local social  services  district  based  on
    20  their  pro  rata  share of households below the federal poverty level in
    21  the state, using the most recent United States census data as  of  April
    22  first, two thousand seventeen, and annually thereafter.
    23    8.  If  local social services districts offer a shelter supplement not
    24  required by this section, such districts may utilize supplements  avail-
    25  able  under  this  section on or after October first, two thousand nine-
    26  teen, to transfer eligible recipients as defined in subparagraph (ii) of
    27  paragraph (b) of subdivision three of this section into the home stabil-
    28  ity support program. Provided, however, a district  shall  not  allocate
    29  one  hundred  percent  of  their shelter supplements provided under this
    30  section to existing supplement recipients, unless there is no current or
    31  unmet need for supplements as defined in subparagraph (i)  of  paragraph
    32  (b) of subdivision three of this section in such district.
    33    9. The commissioner shall issue a report on the home stability support
    34  program  to  the  governor,  the  speaker of the assembly, the temporary
    35  president of the senate, the chairs of the senate  and  assembly  social
    36  services  committees,  and  the  chairs  of  the assembly ways and means
    37  committee and the senate finance committee on or before October first of
    38  each year, starting October first, two thousand  twenty,  regarding  the
    39  effectiveness of the program, based on the information provided from the
    40  local  social  services districts. Each local district, upon the request
    41  of the office, shall provide the  office  the  necessary  data  for  the
    42  completion of the report. Each report shall include the following infor-
    43  mation for each district:
    44    (a) the number of individuals participating in the program;
    45    (b)  factors  contributing  to households experiencing housing issues,
    46  including,  but  not  limited  to,  health  and  safety  and   budgeting
    47  constraints;
    48    (c) total funding utilized;
    49    (d) estimated avoided costs in temporary shelter; and
    50    (e)  any  other  information  or  available data that the commissioner
    51  deems relevant and necessary for comprehensive evaluation of the current
    52  need of entitlements for public assistance recipients.
    53    § 2. Section 153 of the social services law is amended by adding a new
    54  subdivision 13 to read as follows:
    55    13. Notwithstanding any other provision of law to  the  contrary,  one
    56  hundred  percent  of  costs  for shelter supplements including costs for

        S. 9195                             5
     1  heating expenses,  and  home  stability  support  services  required  by
     2  section  one  hundred  thirty-one-bb of this article shall be subject to
     3  reimbursement by the state, as follows:
     4    (a)  by  federal  funds  that can be properly applied to such expendi-
     5  tures; and
     6    (b) the remainder to be paid by state funds.
     7    § 3. This act shall take effect on April 1, 2018.