Statement on the 2022 State of the State
Áine Duggan, President and CEO of The Partnership for the Homeless, issued the following statement about plans to address homelessness in the 2022 State of the State.
“We are encouraged by, and applaud, the Governor’s announcement of a new approach to solve homelessness, which echoes our calls for greater investments in the creation and preservation of affordable and supportive housing, legal assistance, mental health and other public assistance measures that address the root causes of homelessness. We are particularly heartened by the Governor’s acknowledgment that all New Yorkers are deserving of affordable homes and that funding mental health initiatives is key to addressing and solving street homelessness.
This preventative approach is key to stabilizing families, primarily women and children of color, who bear the brunt of homelessness and have endured immeasurable pain during the pandemic.
We are concerned that the State of the State report indicates New York’s eviction moratorium will expire next week. As The Partnership has consistently warned, and Governor Hochul stresses, allowing the moratorium to end now will cause a ‘significant spike in evictions across New York.’
Ending the moratorium does not equate with ending the need for the moratorium. The federally funded NYS Emergency Rental Assistance Program has been exhausted leaving almost two-thirds of all applicants without assistance; by the end of 2021, the State had made 100,000 rental assistance payments, but had received more than 290,000 applications for assistance.
Hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers in rent arrears are set to lose their homes if the moratorium ends without adequate rental assistance being made available, hurting tenants, property owners (who will be forced into costly housing court proceedings on top of shouldering unpaid rent bills) and State and City government (who will pick up the tab for the cost of shelter provision which is at least three times the cost of providing rental assistance). The Governor’s plan can only succeed if it prevents more people from losing their homes while simultaneously assisting those currently experiencing homelessness to become stably housed. To this end, extending the moratorium, securing new federal funding for rental assistance and working with community organizations, tenants and property owners to efficiently disseminate rental assistance funds is an important foundation upon which to build the State’s new housing plan.”