The Network has been selected by National Low-Income Housing Coalition (NLIHC) as a New York State partner for their national HoUSed campaign, which aims to end the housing crisis by advancing anti-racist policies and bold proposals to ensure people with the lowest incomes and those who are the most marginalized have stable, affordable homes.
Over the course of the following 18-months, the Network will be focusing on two of the HoUsed campaign’s four solutions to America’s housing crisis: ensuring universal rental assistance and increasing the supply of affordable housing for people with the lowest incomes through the expansion of the National Housing Trust Fund. The Network will play a key role in the campaign carrying these messages and the impact these measures would have on ending homelessness for the most vulnerable New Yorkers through investing in supportive housing.
Universal rental assistance would save our drastically underfunded scattered site supportive housing, much of which is still governed by decades-old contracts Although the model was intended to pay 50% toward rent and 50% for services, on average a spotcheck conducted by the Network in 2015 found that 65% of funding was going toward rent (and in some cases up to 96%). Providers are frequently having to double and triple up tenants in two- and three-bedroom apartments and not infrequently providers are privately fundraising to keep the programs going. Universal rental assistance would allow state funding to go for services and operations and tenants could have their own apartments. Further, tenants wishing to move into fully independent housing would now have a means of doing that.
Significantly growing the National Housing Trust Fund, the only federal capital funding source dedicated to the very-low and extremely low-income people who qualify for supportive housing, would have a major impact on the state and city’s ability to develop more supportive housing. Increasing the fund by $230 billion would help create an additional 2,300 – 2,500 units of supportive housing across New York State annually.
The Network will be engaging members to participate in this campaign through meetings with representatives, events, social media campaigns, editorials and more. We will provide updates to members on our progress and will update our hoUSed page here.