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State boosts rent subsidies for city’s low-income families

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Under the increase some eligible families could see as much as a 78 percent increase in monthly subsidy amounts

In the latest attempt to decrease the city’s rising homeless population, New York State will boost monthly rent subsidies for low-income families by as much as 78 percent, thanks to a settlement brought about by four city residents. The increase in aid to the Family Eviction Prevention Supplement, a public assistance program created to prevent families with children from facing eviction, will be the first hike since 2004, despite the steady rise in rent prices.

In the lawsuit, four single women argued that the current subsidy amount was “grossly inadequate” and way below fair-market rates, causing families to lose their homes to eviction, reports the New York Times. The Times goes on to note that with the increase, an eligible family of three could see their monthly assistance balloon from $850/month to $1,515/month.

The settlement will not increase the basic shelter allowance, but the city is confident that the subsidy hike alone will keep the city’s shelter population from rising. Mayor de Blasio recently announced his own plans to open 90 new shelters across the city, however, critics claim that doing so will not result in a significant long-term decrease in the city’s homeless population (h/t Observer).

The Family Eviction Prevention Supplement increase could go into effect as soon as this April.