February 2, 2023
CONTACT: Joe Loonam, firstname.lastname@example.org, 347-409-4650
VOCAL-NY APPLAUDS NEW FURMAN CENTER BRIEF “A STATE LEVEL RENT VOUCHER PROGRAM”
NEW YORK — Today, in response to a new brief by the the Furman Center, “A State Level Rent Voucher Program,” VOCAL-NY released the following statement, attributable to Joe Loonam, Housing Campaigns Coordinator for VOCAL-NY:
“The Furman Center’s briefing confirms what academics and activists have said for three years — a statewide housing voucher is just common sense. Despite the governor’s claims, the Housing Access Voucher Program (HAVP) is not an entitlement aimed at bankrupting our state.
As this brief shows, using market rate rental subsidies to address housing insecurity and homelessness stabilizes individuals and families, and could actually save millions of dollars that would otherwise be funneled into a plethora of social services. Unfortunately in the Executive Budget released by Governor Hochul, there was no mention of this critical program, or any similar rental assistance.
Nothing about the governor’s plan will help people who are currently homeless find permanent and stable housing. Nothing in the governor’s plan will prevent the hundreds of thousands evictions that are currently moving through housing courts around our state. The Housing Access Voucher program is the best, most inclusive rental assistance program to help deal with these problems in the coming months, not 10 years down the line.”
If passed at 250 million dollars in funding its first year, th=0-e Housing Access Voucher Program could provide rental assistance to tens of thousands of people across our state, at the current fair market rate. The program would be more inclusive than the current Federal Section 8 program, or the NYC CityFHEPs program because it would be available to people with no income, people with prior felony convictions, and people who are undocumented. ‘A State Level Rent Voucher’ looks at the prospective costs of HAVP, as well as the most recent literature on how rental assistance programs affect low income households.
The legislation to form the Housing Access Voucher Program was first introduced in January of 2020, and was included in the Senate 1-house budget in 2021. In 2022, the Housing Access Voucher Program was included in both the Senate and Assembly 1-house budgets. It was not included in the final budget, nor was included in the executive budget this year.