Rent assistance, including longer term subsidies and low income housing, is provided from a program known as Living in Communities. New York City as well as the state created this resource to help the currently homeless both get rehoused and gain the self-sufficiency they need to remain living in their new apartment or home. The program is extensive, and there may be government issued grants to pay for various housing costs, including first months rent, utility connections, or a security deposit.
There are three main components of LINC, and they include one that is focused on domestic violence survivors, including women, single parents and children. There is also assistance for the working poor as well as longer term homeless. There is a strong commitment needed from program participants as well, and they will need to pay a portion of their income towards their rent and housing costs in the future.
Both the Human Resources Administration (HRA) as well as the NYC Department of Homeless Services, or DHS, process applications and ensure the funds get to those that need help. They will identify the families or the currently homeless person that can benefit from this rental assistance programs and help them with the application process. More terms and conditions of the program are below, however the aid will also prioritize those individuals that are currently a guest or residing in a shelter in New York City.
As noted, housing stability is also a key requirement, as this will prevent future homelessness or an eviction. So anyone that applies or benefits from the Living in Communities program needs to enroll into these services. The self-sufficiency is also run in partnership with organizations such as free legal aid, the HomeBase homeless prevention programs, and local charities. If and when needed, individuals can also look into the HRA emergency assistance grants for any back rent that they may owe.
There is housing assistance for families that have had multiple stays in a shelter. So this will include residents that have needed help from DHS multiple times in the past. There may even be some priority for this given to individuals on SSI or a senior citizen in New York City.
These individuals with long term, chronic homelessness may receive help with their monthly rent for up to 5 years from LIC - Living in Communities. So this is a longer term solution that is combined with budgeting, employment, food, and other forms of assistance.
The second component is for working poor families. Whether there are one or two employed members of the household, they may be able to benefit from the rent subsidy that is part of LINC. As funding allows, the client will get up to 30% of their rent paid by the city, and the balance they will need to pay on their own.
Other services can help the individual or working family find a new home or apartment in New York City, and this is an option for all boroughs such as Queen or the Bronx. DHS wants to ensure the family moves into a safe and affordable home so they can maintain it over the long term.
Residents impacted by domestic violence that needed to move into a shelter or transitional housing unit can also apply. There are conditions in place as well, and the applicant needs to be receiving public assistance or some type of government aid. They also need to be certified by Human Resources Administration as a DV survivor.
What may be provided includes legal aid to ensure the victim is safe. They can also get help in locating a new apartment and paying the rental deposit on it. Then, more longer term stability and subsidies will be provided to the client as part of LINC, as the intent is to prevent future homelessness in New York City.
One key different for this program is that HRA or the Department of Homeless Services will contact the individual directly to help them enroll. So this is not a resource that individuals can apply to directly.
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