15,000 ex-homeless families could be losing rent help

(AP) - New York City is notifying more than 15,000formerly homeless individuals and families that they shouldn'texpect government help with their rent starting in two weeks.

The city's Department of Homeless Services says state budgetcuts are forcing it to cancel the Advantage program that helps thehomeless leave shelters once they've found jobs. Advocates say mostfamilies that stand to lose the subsidy can't afford to stay intheir apartments.

DHS says Thursday it expects the cuts will force 4,400 familiesback into shelters and expand the overall family shelter populationby 51 percent to 39,000 individuals.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo spokesman Josh Vlasto argues the city couldpay for the program if it wanted to. He says the city "seemsintent on manufacturing a crisis and endangering thousands of NewYorkers."

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