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Appeals Court: OK for City to Cut Rent Aid to Homeless

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

An appeals court has upheld New York City's move to cut off rent-assistance payments to thousands of formerly homeless families after state and federal funding dried up.

The state Supreme Court Appellate Division said Tuesday the Advantage subsidies amounted to a social program, not a contract.

The Legal Aid Society says it plans to appeal on the families' behalf. Advocates say many families will be forced into shelters without Advantage.

City Homeless Services Commissioner Seth Diamond says the city couldn't afford to keep Advantage going. The agency is encouraging tenants to go to housing information workshops.

The city told about 15,000 families it was canceling the program a year ago. Courts forced the city to continue paying until last month.

The city says about 5,700 households are still in Advantage.

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