Photo: Edwin Martínez / Impremedia
One of the big headaches that hundreds of thousands of renters in the five boroughs face month after month is the rent payments for your apartments. And the picture looks even worse, after the Rent Regulatory Board of the Big Apple approved the largest increase in a decade for more than one million rent-stabilized homes, with increases of 3.25% in one-year leases and a 5% increase for 2-year leases.
and as it grows concern about hikesin the midst of the housing crisis that New Yorkers are already experiencing, the Administration of Mayor Adams recalled that there are several aid programs for those tenants who see the green and mature ones to continue complying with their leases, as well as plans to have homes affordable.
And it is that through different agencies and with the support of the so-called help line for tenants, which the City launched in 2020, those who face housing problems and threats of eviction, will be able to access support even with rent payment programs. and public services.
This is what the Mayor Adams Administration warns, at least through its portals, which affirms that it is committed to providing available help if they face evictions, housing instability or homelessness, through plans such as Homebase, the Assistance Program Housing and even free legal help for those facing cases in Housing Court.
“Housing cannot be a privilege, it is the key to living a healthy life. Safe, stable, and affordable housing is essential to our prosperity,” he said. Mayor Eric Adams, after defending the work that the City does for tenants at risk.
But not everyone believes in those words, as community leaders like Yoselyn Gomezof the CASA (Safe Apartment Community Action) Association of the Bronx, mentioned that the programs offered by the City for renters do not work and leave many needy renters in line with no real option.
The activist, who claims to have dozens of stories such as that of tenant Ana Núñez, a mother of four children, who was denied rental assistance from the City and herself, who owes five months of rent and does not has received a municipal response, insists that Mayor Adams is not helping tenants and has sided with the landlords and wealthy people of the city.
“It doesn’t make sense for the mayor to say that he cares about helping tenants and show these programs that they say work when he just imposed a rent increase on us stabilized, because if he himself had not supported it, the Revenue Board, which he himself appointed, would not have approved such exorbitant increases,” said the activist, who criticized the fact that the local president contradicts himself between what he says and what he does.
“These programs are useless”added the community leader, who shared the position of the Legal Aid Society association that had demanded a rent freeze and that described the hikes in the panorama as a “shameful vote that will affect the most “vulnerable” New Yorkers.
Added to the concern for the future of thousands of tenants is the recent pronouncement of an Albany County judge who annulled that city’s municipal eviction law for good cause, which could influence the push that the state Legislature has been giving to pass it at the state level and that it would prevent mass evictions.
Current assistance programs for rent, housing and utility payments
- Tenant Helpline
- Starting in April 2020, the City created the Renters Helpline to inform them of their rights and connect them to housing-related resources, including free legal services and rent assistance, and other resources to help them feel safe in their homes.
The Tenant Helpline is staffed by housing specialists from the Tenant Support Unit (TSU), who have responded to nearly 90,000 inquiries for help since the line was launched and have sent over 20,000 referrals to legal service providers
To contact the Tenant Helpline, call 311 and ask for the “Tenant Helpline.”
- Emergency rental assistance: You may be eligible for an emergency cash grant if you meet certain special needs such as back rent, which would prevent your eviction; payment is necessary to maintain or restore utility services
- If you must move, you may be eligible for help with moving expenses, proof of security deposit, broker fees, or temporary storage of furniture and personal belongings
- For more information about this program, contact the HRA Information Line at 718-557-1399
- CityFHEPS: Is a rental assistance plan to help individuals and families find and keep affordable housing, administered by the Department of Social Services (DSS), which includes both the Department of Homeless Services (DHS) and the Human Resources Administration (HRA). This plan replaced rental assistance programs like LINC, SEPS, and CITYFEPS and helps people get help, easier for landlords to receive payments, and easier for DSS to manage cases.
- It is currently available to New Yorkers facing eviction or eligible for shelter.
- Eligibility for CityFHEPS depends on your income, housing situation and other criteria.
- If you don’t live in a shelter, go to the nearest Housing Assistance Program (HAP) or HomeBase (HomeBase) office to find out if you are eligible.
- If you live in a shelter, talk to your housing specialist about CityFHEPS.
- If you currently receive CityFHEPS and your income has changed or your CityFHEPS rent has increased, your local Homebase can help you apply for a modification of your CityFHEPS Rental Assistance Supplement.
- Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP)
- This is a federally funded program that helps low-income homeowners and renters pay utility and heating bills.
- If you have received a notice to disconnect electricity, gas or heat, you can apply for emergency financial assistance. You may also qualify for help if you have a low supply of heating oil or a broken boiler.
- Active SNAP/Cash Assistance clients and SSI clients living alone are automatically eligible for HEAP benefits.
- You can apply for regular HEAP by using the HEAP application below and mail it to:
- Home Energy Assistance Program/HEAP
- PO Box 1401; Church Street Station New York, NY 10008
- Applications may also be submitted in person at a HEAP office. You can get additional help by calling the DSS/HRA HEAP unit at (212) 331-3126 or by calling the NYC HEAP information line at 1-800-692-0557 to find out the status of your application. You can also learn more about HEAP at ACCESS NYC
- Utility Assistance Program (UAP)
- UAP helps families or individuals who are elderly, blind, disabled, mentally challenged, or residing in a neglected or dangerous environment who require financial assistance with their energy bills.
- If you are having trouble paying your utility bills and have any questions about the program, please contact the DSS/HRA HEAP unit at (212)-331-3126.
- This is a homeless prevention network with 25 locations in all five boroughs of New York City that provide housing crisis and stability assistance services. If you are facing eviction, visit the Homebase location closest to you. You can call 311 to find the closest location and make an appointment before visiting the office. If you arrive without an appointment, go before noon.
- Homebase services include: Eviction Prevention, Emergency Short-Term Financing, Benefits Assistance, Financial Counseling, Landlord and Family Mediation, Employment Services, Links to Community Resources, Aftercare for Clients Moving to permanent housing
- For more information about this program you can visit the site: hra.nyc.gov/homebase
- Free legal advice to tenants
- The City of New York ensures that every tenant facing eviction in housing or public housing court or administrative proceedings can access legal services through the Universal plan.
- Access, run by the OCJ Human Resources Administration Office of Civil Affairs, which provides anti-eviction legal services in Housing Court and community offices through non-profit law firms throughout the city.
- Housing Court can access free legal services through any of the following:
- Bronx Housing Court – 1118 Grand Concourse, Courtroom 1A
- Brooklyn Housing Court – 141 Livingston Street, Courtroom 201
- Manhattan Housing Court – 111 Center Street, Courtroom 854
- Queens Housing Court – 89-17 Sutphin Boulevard, Fourth Floor
- Staten Island Housing Court – 927 Castleton Avenue, First Floor
- In the community: at nonprofit community law offices throughout the city.
- Visit nyc.gov/civiljustice to learn more about these sites
- You can also call 311 and ask for “Universal Access” or “HRA Legal Services”
- Or you can email [email protected] for more information.
- Housing Connect
- NYC Housing Connect has a portal to find and apply for affordable housing opportunities in New York City.
- Applicants with a housing voucher or rental subsidy may still qualify even if they earn less than the minimum.
- Learn more about this program at nyc.gov/housingconnect
- Supporting Housing
- This program offers affordable housing support with supportive social services
- for individuals and families who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless. provides
- On-site medical, mental health, and substance use services, as well as services that can help you meet personal goals like job training and placement.
- Learn more at nyc.gov/hra
- Rent Freeze Program
- The Program for the Elderly (SCRIE) over 62 years of age offers qualifying seniors, a
- waiver of future rent increases. It also includes renters with disabilities who qualify under the disability rent increase (DRIE Waiver Program). Together, SCRIE and DRIE are known as the
- New York City Rent Freeze Program.
- Learn more at nyc.gov/scrie
- This program helps people with HIV or AIDS live healthier and more independently by helping clients with individualized service plans to improve their well-being, with support in finding emergency transitional housing, non-emergency housing, as well as Medicaid, Cash assistance, rental assistance.
- You can reach the ServiceLine Monday through Friday, 9:00 am to 5:00 pm at (212) 971-0626 or (212) 971-2731