Civil suit filed against mayor’s administration for failure to implement changes to CityFHEPS program

The City Council passed changes to the CityFHEPS program last year after it voted to override the mayor’s veto.

Heather Fordham and Adolfo Carrion

Feb 15, 2024, 3:15 AM

Updated 158 days ago


The Legal Aid Society is filing a civil suit against the Adams administration for failure to implement new amendments to the City Fighting Homelessness and Eviction Prevention Supplement (CityFHEPS).
The City Council passed changes to the CityFHEPS program last year after it voted to override the mayor’s veto.
The changes would give more people access to housing vouchers by increasing the income cap, allowing people to pay utility bills with the voucher and be eligible for any New Yorker facing homelessness or eviction.
The Legal Aid Society says the changes were meant to go into effect Jan. 9 – but haven’t yet. The Adams administration responded saying the current lack of housing has left people with active vouchers unable to find housing, and that expanding access would increase the difficulty to find housing for those who are already struggling.
For residents like Earl Anderson, who suffered from a stroke and lost his job and home, programs like CityFHEPS are essential to improving quality of life.
"I looked at a lot of apartments and a lot of people weren't willing to take someone with my condition… it was nerve-wracking,” said Anderson, who qualified for the CityFHEPS voucher and found a home.
The Department of Social Services says that the current housing shortage is to blame for the over 10,000 families that have access to the housing voucher. The New York City Housing and Vacancy Survey says there is a 1.4% vacancy rate across the city – the lowest in 50 years.
“They’re searching for affordable housing and can’t find it,” said Molly Wasow Park, commissioner of the Department of Social Services. “We want to fast-track another 1,000 units through this program… we will move them through the contracting process so we can get people into the buildings as fast as possible."
Park says that a lot of work needs to be done, but with nonprofits like Acacia Network, they hope to have these 1,000 additional units within the year.

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