NYC To Cancel Rent-Subsidy Program; Thousands Of Families Could Flood Shelter System

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — New York City is cutting off rent-assistance payments to about 9,000 homeless families following a court decision, and advocates warned Friday the move could flood the city’s shelter system.

The city announced its decision to cancel the Advantage rent-subsidy program in March after it lost state and federal funding, but until this week it had been forced by a court order to continue the payments while legal challenges to the decision played out.

An appeal in the case is set to be heard next week, but on Thursday a judge ruled the city could proceed with its plans.

On Friday, advocates warned that many of the families would be forced to enter the city’s shelter system. Most of the families had entered the program with the understanding that their payments would end by the summer of 2012.

The city’s decision “will mean a surge of entries to our homeless shelters, which are already close to the breaking point,” objected Public Advocate Bill de Blasio in a statement.

Mary Brosnahan, executive director of the Coalition for the Homeless, said that continuing the program would have been cheaper than putting people in shelters.

Department of Homeless Services Commissioner Seth Diamond said in a statement that the Advantage program is too expensive for the city to support without help.

“The city taxpayers have borne alone the extraordinary cost of this program since the withdrawal of state and federal funding almost a year ago,” he said. “We will continue to work aggressively to prevent and end homelessness in the absence of state and federal assistance.”

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(TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

  • Siggy

    Visit Empire City Casino on 1st week of the month and these people are wasting money there.

    • triple sevens

      Love that place paid fo my new shelby mustang.Don,t bet with your head bet over it.

  • gjk

    Worse thing that could happen.

    Nothing good will conme ot of this.

    • Union Sq.

      Let these homeless move in with their friends and families. Or better yet, to another state. As a taxpayer, give me a break! NY is finally getting smart by not encouraging free loading. These programs only drive out the middle class to places like North Carolina and Texas.

  • NO More Politicall Correctness

    Maybe its time to force people to give up their kids for adoption……its a fact there are over a million couples who cannot have kids because the plumbing doesn’t work right…..and we have tons of kids in foster care and homeless shelters…..

    Its not my fault you got laid and pregnant by a deadbeat sperm donor…..

  • KPMc

    I’d like someone to subsidize my rent too but it aint gonna happen.

    How about I get to keep and spend the money I earn as I want and everyone else can do the same? Sounds fair, doesn’t it?

  • Steve

    The families who are assisted by these programs often live in borderline habitable apartments in poor high crime neighborhoods.If they are forced out,the owners of these properties will have a difficult time renting and be put at risk of falling behind on their mortgage.There has to be a better way?

    • KPMc

      So… you want to bail out slumlords too?

      Where does it end?

      • TogosTurn

        They’re apparently going to bailout the NYC shelter operators now.

  • Ed Koch's Tomb Inc.

    Great ! we can go back to the Ed Koch days of thousands of
    homeless people everywhere in this city because this Mayor
    started chopping up Rent control which benefited his Landlord
    developer friends. I bet we could have bar patron tax on 1% and
    save poor peoples housing. Or the poor can call theirselves “Planned

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