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At times when the New York City is facing a serious homeless crisis, which has been aggravated by the COVID-19 pandemic, in the State Legislature A package of laws is stalled that could help more New York families find permanent homes and not risk being left homeless.
The defenders’ organizations ‘Legal Aid Society’ and ‘Empire Justice Center‘ they made a call this Tuesday to the legislators in albany to enact this robust legislative package that was recently introduced, and that among other things reforms the cash assistance program to prevent homelessness, end deep poverty and facilitate the obtaining of other benefits for the low-wage workers.
“Current levels of cash assistance relegate participants throughout New York to a state of ‘deep poverty’. For our clients and all low-income New Yorkers eligible for assistance, this increase will ease some financial hardships and give them more access to economic opportunity.” susan welber, of the Civil Law Reform Unit of ‘The Legal Aid Society’.
The attorney emphasized that increased housing allocation “is crucial to preventing homelessness as we begin to emerge from the worst of the COVID-19 pandemic. This is a matter of economic and racial justice. The Legal Aid Society calls on Albany to immediately enact this critical package of legislation.”
The laws advocates refer to are: the one designated as A.8900 that would increase to 100% the maximum allocation of the housing assistance of the ‘HUD Fair Market Rent’ program; A.9130 which would make long overdue increases to non-housing cash grant components, some of which have not been increased in more than 30 years; A.9112 that would make changes to income and resource rules that would allow working families to access cash assistance; and A.8061 which would increase certain basic needs grants for the homeless living in shelters, benefits that have not increased since 1997.
“The bill’s provisions will change the lives of low-income families and make the difference between owning a home and living on the streets. We thank the Assemblywoman Linda Rosenthal for his leadership and advocacy on behalf of low-income New Yorkers,” said susan antos, Senior Attorney for Public Benefits at the Empire Justice Center, who added that the public assistance housing subsidy for families with children “has not been updated in almost 20 years and it has been 34 years since the housing subsidy for families with children was revised. childless people.”
The activist of that state organization for advocacy and legal services for low-income New Yorkers, insisted that in all counties in upstate New York, “the total public assistance subsidy, including the part allocated to housing costs, is at or below 40% of the federal poverty level. As a long-time public benefits attorney, I can say that this package of bills is fair, necessary, and long overdue.”