After months of negotiations, New York City has reached an agreement with the state to provide rent money for homeless families with children, a move that could get thousands of people out of shelters in the coming year.
One rent subsidy will help homeless families in which at least one member works 35 hours a week. It will cost $80 million in city, state and federal funds over four years. Another program will help chronically homeless families and will cost $59 million. The two programs will allow 2,000 families to move out of the shelters in the first year. And there's a third element — 1,900 families who are domestic violence victims will also get a subsidy.
Mayor Bill de Blasio said the programs are an important first step.
“We’ve got a lot more work to do, but it’s a start,” he said.
The city's shelter population is at an all-time high of 54,726 people, which includes 11,441 families with children.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo said in a statement the programs will "help break the cycle of chronic homelessness and provide New York City’s homeless families with a stable place to live, fundamentally transforming their lives for the better."