Comuter Safety Notice
Follow Us

Common Obstacles

 

HousingLink Resource Center:
A Guide to NYC Housing Resources

Common Obstacles

Some groups of people in special circumstances will face obstacles when looking for permanent housing. This section addresses housing information specific to the following populations:

Immigrant, Undocumented or Partially Documented Families
Households with a Criminal Background
Persons with Disabilities and Seniors
Households Facing Rental Arrears and/or Eviction


Immigrant, Undocumented or Partially Documented Families

  • Undocumented individuals are not eligible to receive any housing subsidy.
  • NYCHA Public Housing and Section 8 consider naturalized citizens, legal permanent residents (green card holders) and those granted refugee or asylum status eligible. Immigrants with other types of status (including legal status under U-Visas, VAWA prima facie status or other programs) are not eligible for public housing or section 8 assistance.
    • Families with at least one documented family member are eligible to receive NYCHA Public Housing and Section 8. Undocumented family members will be responsible for paying for their portion of the subsidy. For example, if a family of 4 contains an undocumented parent and 3 citizen children they will receive ¾ or 75% of the subsidy that would normally be allotted to a four person family. The family would pay 30% of their income towards rent like any other NYCHA Public Housing or Section 8 tenant plus the 25% of the subsidy the undocumented person cannot qualify for. If NYCHA determines that this rent burden is too much for the family, they will be found ineligible.
      Click here for a worksheet explaining how to calculate housing subsidy levels for families with undocumented members.
  • Individuals with enough immigration status to qualify for Public Assistance (PA) cash benefits (such as VAWA self petitioners and other legal immigrants) qualify for PA based subsidy programs like FEPS.
  • In general, in order to receive employment based housing subsidy programs (like LINC I) immigrants are required to have work authorization.

back to top


Criminal Background

  • NYCHA conducts a criminal background check on every Section 8 and Public Housing applicant who is 16 years of age or older.
  • Criminal background ineligibility rules are stricter for applicants moving into NYCHA Public Housing than for Section 8.
  • Ineligibility for Section 8 and Public Housing extends for a maximum of 6 years after serving a sentence and any probation time.
  • If a family member or a batterer with a criminal conviction leads to the ineligibility of an applicant, the household should provide documentation – an order of protection, a lease for another apartment, a utility bill – that the individual is not living or going to be living with family.
  • Applicants that wish to appeal Section 8 or Public Housing denials based on criminal background can request a NYCHA informal discussion or hearing

Click here for information about criminal conviction restrictions for Section 8 and Public Housing and the corresponding time frame for ineligibility.

back to top


Persons with Disabilities and Seniors

  • Persons with disabilities may be eligible for Affordable & Supportive Housing Developments.
  • Disabled persons residing in rent-regulated housing may qualify for the Disability Rent Increase Exemption (DRIE) which can freeze the rent paid by the tenant while providing the landlord with a tax credit equivalent to what the rent increase would have been.
  • Persons 62 years or older residing in rent-regulated housing may qualify for the Senior Citizens Rent Increase Exemption (SCRIE) which can freeze the rent paid by the tenant while providing the landlord with a tax credit equivalent to what the rent increase would have been.
  • Households receiving income from SSI are eligible to apply for Public Housing under one of NYCHA's working priorities.
  • SSI Recipients pay 30% of their income towards, Public Housing or Section 8 apartment rents.

back to top


Rental Arrears and/or Eviction

Households with eviction records may be denied NYCHA Public Housing. Applicants for NYCHA Housing who can document prompt rent payments from the past 6 months to 1 year will be eligible but those who cannot establish an acceptable record of rent payment could be considered ineligible for NYCHA Public Housing for up to three years from the date printed on their ineligibility letter or until they can provide proof of timely rent payments for one full year. The exception is families on public assistance: if the family agrees to allow public assistance to send a “direct vendor payment” (meaning PA sends the rent directly to NYCHA) they can be admitted to Public Housing.

Households with rental arrears or facing eviction may be eligible for additional rent subsidies and/or for money from certain grant sources.

In order to receive help paying for rental arrears, the tenant facing eviction will need to establish that he or she is able to pay rent and maintain the apartment in the future.

Resources for eviction prevention include:

  • “One-Shot-Deals” – Emergency Grants from Public Assistance: To apply for an emergency grant, the tenant needs to bring documentation and explanation of the arrears and will need to provide proof of the ability to pay rent for the apartment in the future. This paperwork should be brought to the tenant's nearest job center (public assistance office). For info about the nearest job center, click here.
  • HomeBase: The HomeBase program is run by the Department of Homeless Services (DHS) to help clients facing eviction and/or homelessness in specific community districts in New York City. HomeBase helps clients apply for emergency grants and obtain funds to pay arrears and future rent.
  • United Way/Emergency Food and Shelter National Board Program: The United Way receives funds from the Emergency Food and Shelter National Board program to help tenant's pay rental arrears. There are limited funds available for this program so assistance is not guaranteed.
  • Housing Court Answers (formerly Citywide Taskforce on Housing Court): The Citywide Taskforce on Housing Court is located in the housing court of each borough. This organization also has information on eviction prevention.
  • Family Eviction Prevention Supplement (FEPS) (formerly Jiggetts): Those facing eviction and receiving public assistance may qualify to receive rental assistance through this program. FEPS applications can be filed through Legal Aid's borough offices and specific community-based organizations in each borough.

back to top

 

Domestic violence is a leading cause of
homelessness for women & children
MAKE A SECURE ONLINE DONATION TODAY!