New York City's Housing Authority is launching a pilot program to help public housing tenants catch up on late rent payments and avoid eviction.
About 22,000 NYCHA residents are behind on rent, a 44 percent increase over the last year. The Housing Authority's Michelle Pinnock says with the help of non-profit partners such as the United Way, tenants will be offered payment plans, longer extensions and other financial strategies.
"So not just how do you get the rent paid but overall how do you better manage you know, your existing resources where rent is a priority is but also basically families can manage their overall responsibilities."
The program will start in six public housing complexes in Queens, where there has been a 70 percent spike in missed rent payments. If it's successful, it could expand to other boroughs in a year.
Pinnock says offering financial help is not only good for struggling tenants, but might also assist the Housing Authority. NYCHA spends about a million dollars a year issuing notices to delinquent tenants and holding administrative hearings.