LINC is a limited rental assistance program operated and offered by NYC DHS and HRA. Families and shelter staff cannot apply for LINC directly or through New Destiny. The City will notify all eligible households.
Living in Communities (LINC) rental assistance is targeted to specific populations in both the DHS and HRA shelter systems who have been in shelter the longest. DHS and HRA identify eligible families in shelter and contact them directly about eligibility and next steps. Due to limited funding, not every shelter resident is eligible for assistance. There are several versions of the program designed to meet the varied needs of homeless families. Additionally, each program is paired with appropriate services to assist families in remaining in stable housing including non-residential community based domestic violence services, Homebase homeless prevention programs, anti-eviction legal services and HRA emergency assistance grants.
LINC I – Working Families
This program is targeted to families with demonstrated work histories and at least one adult currently working full time (35 hours or more for at least 90 days) or two or more adults with a combined 35 hours or more of work for at least 90 days. The program is targeted to families residing in the DHS shelter system who have been in shelter the longest as well as a limited number of residents in the HRA DV shelter system who are working and are most likely to succeed with this program. Enrolled tenants will pay 30% of their income towards rent and the subsidy would cover the rest. The subsidy is renewable based on continued need and eligibility on an annual basis for up to five years*.
LINC II – Families With Multiple Shelter Stays
This program is targeted to families with a higher need for ongoing support to stay stably housed in the community and who have a history of needing DHS or HRA shelter. To begin, this program will be available to those families in DHS shelters and later may expand to the HRA DV shelter system. Families with income such as SSI or employment who have been in shelter multiple times may be eligible with priority given to those with the longest shelter stays. Enrolled tenants will pay 30% of their income towards rent and the subsidy would cover the rest. The subsidy is renewable based on continued need and eligibility on an annual basis for up to five years*.
LINC III – Domestic Violence Survivors
LINC III has been terminated and consolidated into the FHEPS program. Click here for information on FHEPS.
If you are the recipient of LINC III, you should receive your updated shopping letter/conversion confirmation in the mail. Updated shopping letters were mailed starting in December 2017. If you have any questions or concerns please contact the The Legal Aid Society or your LINC UP provider.
This program is targeted to individuals and adults in families residing in DHS shelters, safe havens or drop in centers who are, or include someone who is age 60 or older and cannot afford housing. Eligible households must have an active or single issue public assistance case and earn less than 200% of the federal poverty level. Due to available funding, not all households that meet this criteria will be selected by the City to enroll, priority is being given to those who have been in shelter the longest. Enrolled households are required to pay 30% of their income towards rent and the program may be renewed indefinitely. LINC IV program participants may rent apartments or rooms; rented rooms must be at or below $800 per month.
This program is targeted to individuals and adult families in DHS shelters, safe havens and drop in centers who are working but cannot afford housing. Enrolled households will pay 30% of their income towards rent and is renewal for up to 5 years and possibly longer on a case by case basis. To be eligible, at least one member of the household must be working in unsubsidized employment or as part of the Shelter Exit Transitional Jobs Program (SET) and can demonstrate at least 30 days or employment before becoming certified for LINC V. Households must also maintain an active or single issue public assistance case and total household income cannot exceed 200% of the Federal Poverty Level. LINC V program participants may rent apartments or rooms; rented rooms must be at or below $800 per month. Because of limited funding, not all eligible households will be selected by the City for the program, priority is being given to those in shelter the longest.
This program is designed to help homeless families in shelter to reunify with “host families” consisting of friends or relatives chosen by the homeless family by offering monthly rental assistance payments for one year with annual renewals of up to five years. To be eligible, families must reside in an HRA or DHS shelter for at least 90 consecutive days, have a total household income of less than 200% of the federal poverty level, have an active or single issue public assistance case and have identified a qualifying residence and host family. The host family must be a friend or a relative who is the primary tenant or owner of the residence. Moving into the host residence must not create overcrowding. The residence must be evaluated to ensure health and safety and, members of the host family must pass an evaluation that includes a review of ACS records, if any, and a clearance with the Statewide Central Register of Child Abuse and Maltreatment as well as the New York State Sex Offender Registry.
*The duration of all LINC programs is subject to funding availability
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Payment Standards – new enhanced rent levels available!
Each LINC program has the same maximum rental amounts by household size as shown in the chart below. No additional fees or “side deals” are permitted. Landlords may not charge tenants any extra fees for heat or hot water or for any other service above the contract rent amount legally agreed upon in the lease.
Apartments leased through the LINC program can be rented at even higher levels than the standard LINC rental amounts. The client contribution to rent will not be affected. Upon lease signing at the enhanced rent level, the rent level will not be reduced by the City for as long as the client participates in the LINC program, including renewals, even if in the future, the City again issues certification letters for new LINC clients with the standard maximum rent levels.
For more information about the enhanced rent levels see HRA’s fact sheet.
|LINC I-V Rental Assistance Program Chart|
|Family Size||Standard Maximum Rent||ENHANCED Maximum Rent||Increase|
|1 a, b||$ 914||$1,213||$299|
Please Note: LINC IV and LINC V program participants may rent rooms or apartments. The maximum monthly rent for rooms is $800 per month.
|LINC VI Rental Assistance Program Chart|
|Family Size||Maximum Rent|
|1 or 2||$650|
|3 or 4||$750|
|5 or more||$1,000|
LINC VI rental assistance will pay the entire portion of the rent for enrolled families up to the amounts listed in this chart such that enrolled families will not have to pay any rent to the host family. Tenants should not pay broker’s fees or security deposits nor should they be charged extra for heat or hot water. The total amount of LINC VI assistance should not be more than the proportional share of the rent (generally this means that it should be half or less than half of what the primary tenant pays). For more information see page 2 of the LINC VI fact sheet.
Landlord and Broker Incentives
The City is offering special bonuses and supplemental assistance funds to landlords who participate in the program in order to make it more competetive in the housing market.
The City will provide a $1,000 bonus to landlords who submit complete leasing packages to DHS or HRA by June 30, 2018. (Click here for the official notice of the extension). The bonus will be provided to landlords at lease signing and there are no restrictions on its use. There is no cap on the number of apartments each landlord can offer and therefore no limit on the number of bonuses any one landlord can receive provided that leasing packages are submitted by the deadline.
In addition, for participating LINC landlords, the City will provide additional financial protection in the event rental payments are not made and the shortfall cannot be covered by other eviction prevention programs or if there is damage to the apartment beyond what is covered in the security deposit. The newly created Supplemental Assistance Fund will provide a total of $3,000 for the total time of the LINC lease including renewals.
For more information on these incentives and to learn how to register an apartment with the LINC program see HRA’s fact sheet.
Broker’s are also eligible to receive an enhanced fee of up to 15% of the annual rent for all units leased under the LINC program where there is a lease signed for one year or more. The enhanced fee expires on June 30, 2018. For more information, click here.
Once a shelter resident is certified for the LINC program, they have 90 days to find an apartment. Landlords who own more than 6 apartments cannot refuse to rent to a person just because they will use a program such as LINC to pay the rent. To learn more, see this fact sheet. If a landlord refuses to rent to a LINC client exclusively because they are not interested in the program, clients may contact either the Fair Housing Justice Center or Legal Aid’s Homeless Rights Project. Find additional tips on finding an apartment here.
Once a LINC client identifies an apartment, the landlord can work with the client and shelter representative to complete a leasing package and register the apartment for an inspection. HPD is conducting all inspections for apartments renting under the LINC program and will do so within two business days of the request. Apartment seekers and landlords should be sure that the apartment is ready to pass inspection prior to submitting a package for leasing. Once the apartment passes inspection and all documents are reviewed an approved a lease signing will be scheduled with HRA. In general, lease signings can be scheduled in about a week after the inspection passes.
All tenants leasing apartments through the LINC programs will be offered robust aftercare services. Contact Homebase for a list of providers.