February 15, 2022
Joseph Loonam, Joseph@vocal-ny.org, 347-409-4650
Mariah McGough, Mariah@vocal-ny.org, 203-470-9979
HAVP PASSES OUT OF ASSEMBLY HOUSING COMMITTEE AS SERVICE PROVIDERS SIGN ONTO LETTER URGING STEWART-COUSINS, HEASTIE, AND HOCHUL TO FUND THE PROGRAM IN THE BUDGET
ALBANY, N.Y. — Today, the Assembly Housing Committee passed the Housing Access Voucher Program (HAVP), which would help homeless New Yorkers find stable housing and create eviction prevention for tenants at risk of becoming homeless.
Additionally, advocates released a letter today with over 70 signatures from homeless services providers and affordable housing advocates from across our state in support of HAVP. The letter calls on Governor Hochul, Majority Leader Stewart Cousins, and Speaker Heastie to take action and include funding for the program in the state budget.
“Elected officials and our state’s service providers agree: the Housing Access Voucher Program is essential to folks on the street, in the shelter, or facing eviction,” said Joe Loonam, VOCAL-NY’s Housing Campaigns Coordinator. “Now it’s time for our state’s leadership to recognize the necessity of the program and fund it accordingly. HAVP is the single most important thing you can do to address the homelessness crisis this year, and we urge elected officials to pass and fund this essential program.”
“With over 92,000 people in New York State experiencing homelessness and countless more struggling with nearly insurmountable rent burdens it is imperative that we take bold action,” said Catherine Trapani, Executive Director, Homeless Services United. “While some stop-gap measures have been tried, The Housing Access Voucher Program is the only solution that is flexible enough to reach those most in need including working people who struggle to afford sky-high rents and those locked out of federally assisted programs due to past interactions with the criminal justice system and certain immigrants. Ensuring that every New Yorker has a stable home is not only the right thing to do, it is essential for the State’s recovery and future prosperity. We thank the Assembly Housing Committee for passing this important piece of legislation and hope to see it included in this year’s state budget.”
“Passing the Housing Access Voucher Program is one of the most important steps New York State can take to end our deep and persistent homelessness and housing crisis,” said David R. Jones, President and CEO of the Community Service Society of New York. “It will help people experiencing homelessness find permanent housing, help low-income tenants prevent eviction, and help subsidize deeply affordable housing moving forward. We stand with groups representing New Yorkers experiencing homelessness, service providers, and low-income tenants to commend the Assembly Housing Committee and call on the legislative and executive leadership to include this crucial program in this year’s budget.”
Housing Access Voucher Program (HAVP) is a part of VOCAL-NY’s 2022-2023 Legislative Platform. HAVP is a state-funded rental assistance program which dedicates at least 50% of the program’s vouchers administered through public housing authorities to help homeless New Yorkers across the state find stable housing. The rest of the program’s vouchers will go towards eviction prevention for tenants at risk of becoming homeless. If funded at 1 billion dollars it would create enough vouchers to get everyone currently in shelter access to a market rate rental subsidy, as well as prevent thousands of evictions a year.