Public Advocate, Council Delegation Endorse Home Stability Support at City Hall Rally

Public Advocate, Council Delegation Endorse Home Stability Support at City Hall Rally

Leading city officials and thirty Council Members – a majority of the delegation – join together to formally endorse Home Stability Support and encourage Governor Cuomo to include the plan in the state budget to aid city’s most vulnerable families

With announcement, significant share of city government joins growing coalition as homelessness reaches unprecedented levels in the five boroughs and across the state

NEW YORK, N.Y. – In response to New York City’s growing homeless crisis, a broad coalition of city elected officials led by Public Advocate Letitia James, Council Member Barry Grodenchik (D – Oakland Gardens), Deputy Majority Leader Vincent Gentile (D – Brooklyn), Council Member Stephen Levin (D – Brooklyn), Chair of the Committee on General Welfare, and Progressive Caucus Co-Chairs Donovan Richards (D – Far Rockaway) and Antonio Reynoso (D – Brooklyn) formally announced their endorsement of Home Stability Support (HSS), a proposal to increase the state’s outdated rental assistance subsidies and prevent New York families from becoming homeless. The Public Advocate and thirty members of the Council delegation join a growing coalition of advocates, unions and representatives calling on New York Governor Andrew Cuomo to include the plan in the state budget, spurred by record-breaking homeless populations in the city and tens of thousands of families on the brink of homelessness statewide.

The announcement came during an afternoon press conference and rally on the steps of City Hall today. The unprecedented gathering was co-hosted by Public Advocate James and Council Member Grodenchick, and featured Council Members Levin, Gentile, Richards and Reynoso, who spoke at length about the impact of growing homeless crisis on their respective communities. Council Members Jumaane Williams (D – Brooklyn), Chair of the Chair of Committee on Housing and Buildings, and Elizabeth Crowley (D – Maspeth) also spoke. The Council Members are among thirty city legislators that have signed onto a petition calling on Governor Cuomo to support the proposal.

The press conference also included advocates from the Legal Aid Society and the Coalition for the Homeless, who stood with the elected officials during the gathering. Both organizations are part of the HSS coalition and have been active in briefing stakeholders statewide on the plan.

In declaring their support for HSS, the city officials join a growing statewide coalition of elected officials and advocates urging Albany to include the proposed rent supplement in the next state budget. Prior to 1975, the vast majority of families on public assistance had their rent paid in full. However, lagging state and federal housing investments, coupled with skyrocketing rental costs, have left tens of thousands of New York families at risk of losing their homes.

The coalition anticipates that HSS would cost $11,224 per year for a household of three in NYC. Meanwhile, the cost of shelters in NYC is $38,460 for a family with children. The net savings for taxpayers is $27,236 per year. Similar savings would be realized in counties throughout the state.


This would also translate into savings on related services such as emergency room visits, law enforcement costs, housing court costs, and programs and shelters for runaway youth. Just preventing the process of eviction in the Bronx and at housing courts statewide has the potential to save taxpayers millions of dollars. A recent analysis by the NYC Bar Association found that preventing the evictions of roughly 5,000 households could save $251 million a year in New York City alone.

Most recently, the coalition picked up the endorsement of the Association of Legal Aid Attorneys – UAW Local 2325, which represents the lawyers and legal advocates providing pro bono assistance to families facing evictions.

Today’s press conference and rally comes amid growing concern over record homeless populations across the city and state. A report released last week by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development estimated 73,523 homeless people in New York City.

“New York City is facing the worst housing crisis since the Great Depression, forcing thousands of hardworking people out of their homes,” said Public Advocate Letitia James. “For too long, our government has employed a piecemeal approach to providing housing assistance, resulting in inefficient and inadequate support that leaves too many behind. I want to thank Assemblymember Hevesi for his leadership on Home Stability Support, which will create an all-encompassing plan to ensure that our taxpayer dollars are spent wisely and that our most vulnerable families can afford to stay in their homes.”

“In one of the wealthiest cities in the world, it is absolutely inexcusable, intolerable, and indefensible that there are increasing numbers of children, families, and individuals who are struggling to find basic shelter,” said Council Member Barry S. Grodenchik. “Assemblymember Hevesi’s Home Stability Support program would be a significant step forward in reversing the trend. I am happy to announce that the majority of the New York City Council backs this proposal, and I am hopeful that the Governor will consider implementing it as soon as possible.”

“Life without a home is not just a potential tragedy that can happen to anyone, it is a reality for tens of thousands of New Yorkers,” said Council Member Stephen Levin. “With this proposal we have an opportunity to come together to prevent families and individuals from losing the stability and permanency that comes with housing. Keeping individuals in their homes is not only morally sound, but in the long term it is a much more efficient use of public resources.”

“Homelessness does not discriminate and can rear its ugly head in a New York minute. With surging numbers citywide and statewide, we must continue to search for solutions to stem this proliferation and alleviate our homeless crisis. This proposal is sensible, logical and an apt use of public funds to help our most vulnerable New Yorkers maintain their right to housing,” said Deputy Majority Leader Vincent Gentile.

“It is about time that we focus on real solutions to our homeless crisis and in order to do that, we need the State to step up and do its part by taking advantage of the opportunity of the Home Stability Support plan,” said Council Member Donovan Richards, Co-Chair of the Progressive Caucus. “We need to tap into federal resources that are available to help keep people in their homes and fund necessary homeless resources and all of this can be done while saving millions of dollars in state and city funding. For those marching against homeless shelters in their neighborhoods, this is a real solution, so we ask you to march for this plan. I’d like to thank Assembly Member Hevesi, my colleagues in the Council and Public Advocate James for working together to focus on the root of one of our most serious problems.”

“The Home Stability Support program will help address our city’s homelessness crisis, keep families in their homes, and prevent displacement, all while saving taxpayer money. It’s a smart solution and I encourage our State legislature to implement it quickly,” said Council Member Antonio Reynoso, Co-Chair of the Progressive Caucus.

“I’m pleased to see the Public Advocate, Council Members Grodenchik and Levin, and the Council delegation endorse Home Stability Support,” said State Assembly Member Andrew Hevesi. “Our city has long been a leader in finding creative solutions to the greatest challenges we as a society face. The growing homeless crisis is no different. Home Stability Support has the potential to keep thousands of New Yorkers in their own homes in a way that’s both fiscally and socially-responsible. I look forward to working with my city colleagues in urging the state to include the plan in the next budget.”

The full list of Council signatories is as follows:

Barry Grodenchik
Stephen Levin
Donovan Richards
Paul Vallone
Andrew Cohen
Corey Johnson
Elizabeth Crowley
Carlos Menchaca
Rafael Salamanca
Vincent Gentile
Costa Constantinides
Andy King
Deborah Rose
Daneek Miller
Rafael Espinal, Jr.
Mark Levine
Alan Maisel
Daniel Dromm
Ritchie Torres
Inez Barron
Peter Koo
Karen Koslowitz
Helen Rosenthal
Ruben Wills
Antonio Reynoso
Daniel Garodnick
Laurie Cumbo
Margaret Chin
Benjamin Kallos
Jumaane Williams

More information about the plan can be found at

Print Friendly, PDF & Email