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A01620 Summary:

COSPNSRBarron, Gottfried, D'Urso, Braunstein, Ortiz, Barnwell, Quart, Niou, Paulin, Englebright, Simon, Rozic, Mosley, Lupardo, Simotas, Ra, Miller B, Hunter, O'Donnell, Giglio, Abinanti, Dickens, Raia, Seawright, Jaffee, Fahy, Miller MG, Weprin, Peoples-Stokes, Jean-Pierre, Aubry, DenDekker, Vanel, Miller ML, Colton, Cymbrowitz, Taylor, Santabarbara, Garbarino, Gunther, Crespo, De La Rosa, Ramos, Arroyo, Wright, Blake, Pichardo, Benedetto, Davila, Cook, Lifton, Rivera, Stirpe, Bichotte, Joyner, Fernandez, Barrett, Kolb, Dilan, Dinowitz, Finch, Morinello, Pheffer Amato, Thiele, Epstein, Ryan, Rosenthal L, Reyes, Eichenstein, Bronson, Pretlow, Rosenthal D, Buttenschon, McDonald, Blankenbush, Palmesano, Jones, Hyndman, Ashby, Otis, Jacobson, Williams, Abbate, Rodriguez, Cruz, Perry, Zebrowski, Kim, Fall, Richardson, Titus, Lavine, Romeo, Carroll, Glick, Burke, Woerner, Nolan, Walker, Darling, Frontus, Gantt, Magnarelli, McMahon, Sayegh, Stec, Steck, Stern, Wallace
MLTSPNSRBrabenec, Cahill, DeStefano, DiPietro, Fitzpatrick, Friend, Galef, Griffin, Lentol, Manktelow, McDonough, Montesano, Salka, Solages, Tague, Walsh
Add §131-bb, amd §153, Soc Serv L
Relates to the creation of home stability support supplement programs.
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A01620 Actions:

01/16/2019referred to social services
02/26/2019reported referred to ways and means
01/08/2020referred to ways and means
02/07/2020amend and recommit to ways and means
02/07/2020print number 1620a
02/10/2020amend by restoring to original print 1620
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A01620 Text:

                STATE OF NEW YORK
                               2019-2020 Regular Sessions
                   IN ASSEMBLY
                                    January 16, 2019
        Introduced  by  M.  of A. HEVESI, BARRON, GOTTFRIED, D'URSO, BRAUNSTEIN,
          NOUGH, MONTESANO, PALMESANO, SOLAGES, STEC, WALSH  --  read  once  and
          referred to the Committee on Social Services
        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
         EXPLANATION--Matter in italics (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                              [ ] is old law to be omitted.

        A. 1620                             2
     1  or privately operated shelter designated  to  provide  temporary  living
     2  arrangements  (including hotels and motels paid for by federal, state or
     3  local government programs for low-income individuals  or  by  charitable
     4  organizations, congregate shelters, or transitional housing); exiting an
     5  institution  where  they  resided  and  will  lack  a  regular fixed and
     6  adequate nighttime residence upon release or discharge; or are an  unac-
     7  companied youth and homeless families with children and youth defined as
     8  homeless under either this paragraph or federal statute who have experi-
     9  enced a long-term period without living independently in permanent hous-
    10  ing;  have  experienced  persistent  instability as measured by frequent
    11  moves; and can be expected to continue in such status  for  an  extended
    12  period  of time because of chronic disabilities, chronic physical health
    13  or mental health conditions, substance addiction, histories of  domestic
    14  violence  or  childhood  abuse,  the presence of a child or youth with a
    15  disability, or multiple barriers to employment, or  other  dangerous  or
    16  life-threatening   conditions,   including  conditions  that  relate  to
    17  violence against an individual or a family member; and
    18    (ii) "imminent loss of housing" shall mean having received a  verified
    19  rent  demand  or  a petition for eviction; having received a court order
    20  resulting from an eviction action that notifies the individual or family
    21  that they must leave their  housing;  facing  loss  of  housing  due  to
    22  hazardous  conditions, including but not limited to asbestos, lead expo-
    23  sure, mold, and radon; having a primary nighttime residence  that  is  a
    24  room  in  a  hotel  or  motel  and lack the resources necessary to stay;
    25  facing loss of the primary nighttime residence, which may include living
    26  in the home of another household, where the owner or renter of the hous-
    27  ing will not allow the individual or family to stay,  provided  further,
    28  that an assertion from an individual or family member alleging such loss
    29  of housing or homelessness shall be sufficient to establish eligibility;
    30  or,  fleeing, or attempting to flee, domestic violence, dating violence,
    31  sexual assault, stalking, human trafficking or other dangerous or  life-
    32  threatening conditions that relate to violence against the individual or
    33  a  family  member, provided further that an assertion from an individual
    34  or family member alleging such abuse and loss of housing shall be suffi-
    35  cient to establish eligibility.
    36    2. (a) Each local social services district  shall  provide  a  shelter
    37  supplement  to  eligible individuals and families as defined in subdivi-
    38  sion three of this section in an amount equal to eighty-five percent  of
    39  the  fair  market  rent  in  the district, as established by the federal
    40  department of housing and urban development,  for  the  particular  unit
    41  size.  The  shelter  supplement  shall  be  issued  by  the local social
    42  services district directly to the landlord or vendor.
    43    (b) A local social services district may also  provide  an  additional
    44  supplement  in excess of eighty-five percent of the fair market rent, up
    45  to one hundred percent of the fair  market  rent  in  the  district,  as
    46  established  by the federal department of housing and urban development.
    47  Provided, however, the cost of the additional supplement shall  be  paid
    48  by the local social services district.
    49    (c)  As part of the supplement referenced in this subdivision, when an
    50  eligible recipient, as defined in subdivision  three  of  this  section,
    51  incurs  separate  fuel  for  heating expenses, the local social services
    52  district shall provide additional  funds  to  cover  such  expenses,  in
    53  excess  of  the  amount  already  required for shelter costs pursuant to
    54  paragraph (a) of this  subdivision.  Such  heating  allowance  shall  be
    55  equivalent to the full amount of fuel for heating expenses, and shall be
    56  made  directly  to  the  vendor on behalf of the recipient. Any expenses

        A. 1620                             3
     1  incurred by the local social services district that are (i) in excess of
     2  a recipient's fuel for heating allowance authorized  pursuant  to  para-
     3  graph (b) of subdivision two of section one hundred thirty-one-a of this
     4  title;  (ii)  made  pursuant to section ninety-seven of this chapter; or
     5  (iii) to cover any arrears payments made to restore heating services  or
     6  to prevent a shut-off, shall not be recoupable.
     7    (d)  Individuals  not  in  receipt of public assistance, residing in a
     8  household that is  benefiting  from  a  shelter  supplement  under  this
     9  section  shall  be  required to contribute thirty percent of their gross
    10  income, or their pro rata share of the rent, whichever  is  less.  Minor
    11  children  without  income  shall  not  be  counted in the pro rata share
    12  equation. In addition, the income of minor children shall not be consid-
    13  ered part of the gross income.
    14    (e) Any supplement or allowance provided under this section shall  not
    15  be considered to be part of the standard of need as defined in paragraph
    16  (b)  of  subdivision  ten  of  section  one hundred thirty-one-a of this
    17  title.
    18    (f) In the event that the local social  services  district  determines
    19  that  payment  of  rental  arrears would prevent homelessness and subse-
    20  quently pays such arrears, such payments shall not be recoupable.
    21    3. (a) For the period beginning October  first,  two  thousand  twenty
    22  until  September  thirtieth,  two  thousand  twenty-one, individuals, or
    23  families, who are eligible for public assistance, are either homeless or
    24  face an imminent loss of housing, and are not currently receiving anoth-
    25  er shelter supplement shall  be  eligible  for  the  shelter  supplement
    26  provided under this section.
    27    (b)  On  and after October first, two thousand twenty-one, individuals
    28  or families who are eligible for public assistance and are (i)  homeless
    29  or  face  an  imminent  loss of housing, and are not currently receiving
    30  another shelter supplement; or (ii) currently in receipt  of  a  shelter
    31  supplement,  other  than  a supplement required by this section, that is
    32  being transferred to the home  stability  support  program  pursuant  to
    33  subdivision  eight  of  this  section, shall be eligible for the shelter
    34  supplement provided under this section.
    35    4. (a) Local social  services  districts  shall  provide  the  shelter
    36  supplement  required  under  this section for up to five years, provided
    37  such individuals or families are otherwise eligible for  public  assist-
    38  ance.  A  shelter supplement may be provided for an additional length of
    39  time for good cause.
    40    (b) If an individual or family receiving the shelter supplement is  no
    41  longer  eligible  for  public  assistance,  the  local  social  services
    42  district shall continue to provide the shelter supplement, and if appro-
    43  priate heating allowance, for one year from the date  of  such  determi-
    44  nation,  so  long as their income does not exceed two hundred percent of
    45  the federal poverty level.
    46    5. The shelter supplement and heating allowance shall not be  affected
    47  by a recipient's sanction status.
    48    6.  (a)  The commissioner shall contract with not-for-profit agencies,
    49  that have experience providing support  services  to  the  homeless  and
    50  at-risk  of  homelessness populations, for the purpose of providing home
    51  stability support services. Such services shall assist eligible  recipi-
    52  ents, as defined in subdivision three of this section, in avoiding home-
    53  lessness and achieving long-term housing stability.  Such services shall
    54  include, but not be limited to:
    55    (i) services to resolve conflicts between landlords and tenants and to
    56  facilitate fair and workable solutions;

        A. 1620                             4
     1    (ii)  referrals  to  legal  services to households threatened with the
     2  loss of their homes through eviction, harassment or other means;
     3    (iii)  benefit/entitlement  advocacy  to  ensure  that  households are
     4  receiving all federal, state and local benefits to which they are  enti-
     5  tled, such as temporary assistance to needy families, safety net assist-
     6  ance,  supplemental  nutrition assistance program, supplemental security
     7  income, rent security deposits, furniture and household moving expenses,
     8  medical assistance; and
     9    (iv) relocation assistance which provides for  the  identification  of
    10  and   referral   to  permanent  and  habitable  housing,  transportation
    11  services, landlord/tenant lease negotiation services and  assistance  in
    12  establishing utility services.
    13    (b)  The  commissioner  shall    issue a request-for-proposal for home
    14  stability support services. The request-for-proposal shall include:
    15    (i) a description  of  the  home  stability  support  services  to  be
    16  provided,  including  procedures  for  intake,  referral,  outreach, the
    17  provision of services, follow-up and anticipated outcomes;
    18    (ii) a description of the manner  in  which  coordination  with  other
    19  federal,  state,  local  and privately funded services will be achieved;
    20  and
    21    (iii) a description of how the services will  be  designed  to  assist
    22  households to achieve housing stability.
    23    (c)  Prior  to  entering into a contract pursuant to this subdivision,
    24  the commissioner shall determine that the eligible applicant is  a  bona
    25  fide  organization which shall have demonstrated by its past and current
    26  activities that it has the ability to provide such  services,  that  the
    27  organization  is financially responsible and that the proposal is appro-
    28  priate for the needs of households to be served.
    29    7. The home stability support program shall provide for up to a  total
    30  of fourteen thousand new shelter supplements a year statewide, and funds
    31  shall  be  distributed  to  each local social services district based on
    32  their pro rata share of households below the federal  poverty  level  in
    33  the  state,  using the most recent United States census data as of April
    34  first, two thousand nineteen, and annually thereafter.
    35    8. If local social services districts offer a shelter  supplement  not
    36  required  by this section, such districts may utilize supplements avail-
    37  able under this section on or after October first, two thousand  twenty-
    38  one,  to transfer eligible recipients as defined in subparagraph (ii) of
    39  paragraph (b) of subdivision three of this section into the home stabil-
    40  ity support program. Provided, however, a district  shall  not  allocate
    41  one  hundred  percent  of  their shelter supplements provided under this
    42  section to existing supplement recipients, unless there is no current or
    43  unmet need for supplements as defined in subparagraph (i)  of  paragraph
    44  (b) of subdivision three of this section in such district.
    45    9. The commissioner shall issue a report on the home stability support
    46  program  to  the  governor,  the  speaker of the assembly, the temporary
    47  president of the senate, the chairs of the senate  and  assembly  social
    48  services  committees,  and  the  chairs  of  the assembly ways and means
    49  committee and the senate finance committee on or before October first of
    50  each year, starting October first, two  thousand  twenty-two,  regarding
    51  the effectiveness of the program, based on the information provided from
    52  the  local  social  services  districts.  Each  local district, upon the
    53  request of the office, shall provide the office the necessary  data  for
    54  the  completion  of  the report. Each report shall include the following
    55  information for each district:
    56    (a) the number of individuals participating in the program;

        A. 1620                             5
     1    (b) factors contributing to households  experiencing  housing  issues,
     2  including,   but  not  limited  to,  health  and  safety  and  budgeting
     3  constraints;
     4    (c) total funding utilized;
     5    (d) estimated avoided costs in temporary shelter; and
     6    (e)  any  other  information  or  available data that the commissioner
     7  deems relevant and necessary for comprehensive evaluation of the current
     8  need of entitlements for public assistance recipients.
     9    § 2. Section 153 of the social services law is amended by adding a new
    10  subdivision 13 to read as follows:
    11    13. Notwithstanding any other provision of law to  the  contrary,  one
    12  hundred  percent  of  costs  for shelter supplements including costs for
    13  heating expenses,  and  home  stability  support  services  required  by
    14  section  one  hundred  thirty-one-bb of this article shall be subject to
    15  reimbursement by the state, as follows:
    16    (a) by federal funds that can be properly  applied  to  such  expendi-
    17  tures; and
    18    (b) the remainder to be paid by state funds.
    19    § 3. This act shall take effect on April 1, 2020.
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