Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, Social Services Committee Chair Michele Titus and Children and Families Committee Chair Donna Lupardo announced that the 2014-15 final budget agreement addresses the soaring number of homeless families and individuals in New York City and provides funding for programs and services aiding some of New York's most vulnerable communities.
The 2014-15 budget authorizes the city to create a rental subsidy program for homeless individuals pursuant to an approved plan by the state Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance (ODTA). Once a plan is approved, there will be an exit out of homeless shelters towards stable housing for individuals and families for the first time since 2011.
"Despite an overall upturn in the state's economy, the rate of homelessness and hunger continues to rise, and many middle-class and low-income families are still desperately struggling to make ends meet," Speaker Silver said. "This budget seeks to address the challenges that so many of these families are still facing. In addition to investing in vital social service programs, the Assembly fought for, and succeeded in, including the authorization of a rental subsidy program in the final budget agreement to help reduce the unconscionable number of homeless families and individuals in New York City."
"The final budget includes a significant level of support for New York's working families by investing in the programs and services that they depend on the most in order to stay employed, put dinner on the table and ultimately break the unfortunate cycle of poverty that so many New Yorkers find themselves battling on a day-to-day basis," Titus said.
"Maintaining high-quality, accessible family assistance programs is an ongoing challenge for our state," Lupardo said. "These programs are critical to providing better futures for our children and more opportunities for our working families. This year's budget acknowledges the important contributions of numerous programs and services across the state."
The budget also provides $9 million in state funds to support an initiative to cap the rent contribution for individuals with HIV/AIDS in New York City who receive public assistance at thirty percent of the individual's earned and/or unearned income.
The final state budget also increases funding by $1.4 million for the Safe Harbor for Sexually Exploited Youth program, bringing the total amount of funding for 2014-15 to $3 million.Additionally, the agreement provides $26.2 million in Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) funding to restore many programs, including: