On Wednesday, April 26th, Mayor Eric Adams released his FY24 Executive Budget, a $106 billion dollar spending plan.
Though we are still analyzing the budget, we are particularly disappointed about the lack of a cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) for human services workers. The workforce demands and deserves at least a 6.5% increase to compensate for the increased demands of their jobs and high rate of inflation.
The lack of a COLA is exacerbated by the Mayor’s proposed flexible funding cut of $29 million at DHS and DSS, which calls for contracted providers to find savings and then use some of that to increase salaries. Requiring contracting agencies to bear the burden of the PEGs sets a dangerous precedent. While nonprofits have been seeking flexibility, providing it through cuts is an unacceptable way to operate.
NYC 15/15 rental assistance has been re-estimated and reflected as a PEG. This decision will not directly impact production of the program, as rental assistance is needed approximately two years after a congregate residence has closed on construction financing. However, as we have been warning, the rate of NYC 15/15 production is far behind its goals, particularly because less than 20% of the scattered site units have been awarded. Reallocating NYC 15/15 toward congregate and increasing its production is critical to meeting the 15,000 unit goal.
We look forward to working with the City Council, the mayor, executive agencies, and stakeholders over the coming weeks to ensure that the final budget more accurately reflects the dire need for investment in supportive housing, which will play a key role in the ongoing effort to combat the historic rise in homelessness across the five boroughs.