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City Can End Rent Subsidy for Former Homeless Families: Judge

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

New York City can stop paying rent for more than 16,000 families that were previously homeless, a judge ruled Tuesday.

The city was within its rights to cancel the so-called Advantage Program after losing state backing for the program, according to the Tuesday ruling.

“Because of the state's decision [to cut funding], the city would have to pay the full cost of Advantage on its own," said Department of Homeless Services Commissioner Seth Diamond, who noted putting families up in shelters was a less pricey option, "whereas shelter is a shared cost between the city, the state and the federal government."

The ruling, from state Supreme court Justice Judith Gische found that the city officials have no ongoing obligation, “contractual or otherwise,” to continue the program.

Advocates of the program fear the decision will put thousands back onto city streets in time for winter.

Steven Banks, chief attorney for the Legal Aid Society, sued the city on behalf of the Advantage Program recipients.

The Legal Aid Society said that appellate litigation will continue, and the city will have to keep paying the rental subsidies until that litigation moves through the court system.

With the Associated Press

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Comments [1]

Jim from Bronx

I'm a landlord in the Bronx. I thought I was "doing the right thing" by helping out these tenants who had been in shelters. No credit, no savings etc but I was willing to help (and the City guaranteed their rent for a couple of years with the promise that the tenant would get section 8 vouchers after those 2 years).
Now I will probably lose one of my buildings to the bank. I have loaded that property with Advantage tenants. It will take me more than 10 months to evict each of them and there is no way I can pay my mortgage. This ruling is unconscionable. I will NEVER accept a tenant on a government program again. NEVER. No good deed goes unpunished.

Sep. 14 2011 11:04 PM

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