Housing Programs & Services

CITYFHEPS: Changes under COVID-19

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Summary

CityFHEPS is a rent subsidy program administered by NYC Human Resources Administration (HRA) for households not eligible for State FHEPS who are in shelter or at risk of entering shelter and income is at 200% FPL. HRA has made changes to allow for flexibility during the pandemic.

If you are a Benefits Plus subscriber, for additional information on CityFHEPS, refer to Benefits Plus, Cash Benefits, Cash Assistance, Housing Subsidies, CITYFHEPS. For information on State FHEPS, refer to Benefits Plus, Cash Benefits, Cash Assistance, Housing Subsidies, State FHEPS. For subscription information visit: https://bplc.cssny.org/home/subscription_options.

Applicant Households

NYC Human Resources Administration (HRA) has changed some eligibility requirements for the CityFHEPS program for applicant households in the community (not in shelter).

Households can apply for CityFHEPS at their local Homebase.

Housing Court Case Is Not Required

Until August 31, 2021, households in the community (not in shelter) may be eligible for CITYFHEPS without the need for an eviction case in Housing Court, if the landlord has made a written rent demand or given the tenant a letter threatening to sue for nonpayment and eviction. As part of the CITYFHEPS application, the household will have to provide the written rent demand or written threat of eviction and will have to complete the hardship declaration form, which has been used by NYS tenants to prevent eviction under the NYS COVID-19 Emergency Eviction and Foreclosure Prevention Act (CEEFPA).

To learn more about the hardship declaration form and CEEFPA, see below, Eviction Moratoriums: Under COVID-19, Protections Against Residential Evictions, NYS COVID-19 Emergency Eviction and Foreclosure Prevention Act (CEEFPA).

NYS Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP) Determination Required

NYS Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance (OTDA) has required that CityFHEPS applicant households with arrears apply for ERAP and receive a determination before CityFHEPS can approve to pay the household’s arrears.

To learn more about ERAP, see below, Rent Relief: Under COVID-19, NYS Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP).

Recipient Households

NYC Human Resources Administration (HRA) is still processing and issuing rental payments for households in receipt of the subsidy. All eligible households are getting automatic renewals and do not need to reapply.

Shopping Letters

Households that have been approved for CITYFHEPS receive a shopping letter to begin looking for housing.

Shopping letters expiration dates for households in shelter are being extended. Households in receipt of shopping letters due to employment will keep their shopping letters regardless of loss of employment or reduction in hours.

Households not in receipt of shopping letters and who lost employment due to COVID-19 but would have otherwise been eligible for shopping letters can submit their unemployment information to HRA/NYC Department of Homeless Services (DHS) to receive a shopping letter.

Apartments Approvals

Clients can view apartments virtually. HRA/DHS can complete an apartment walkthrough virtually with brokers or landlords.

How COVID-19 Cash Aid Impacts CITYFHEPS

ECONOMIC IMPACT PAYMENT

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act economic impact payments (up to $1,200 per individual, $500 per qualifying child) are excluded from income calculations.

For information on the economic impact payments, refer to COVID-19 Resources, Cash Benefits, Coronavirus Economic Impact Payment.

PANDEMIC UNEMPLOYMENT COMPENSATION (PUC)

The $300 per week in PUC are excluded from income calculations.

For information on PUC, refer to COVID-19 Resources, Expansion of Unemployment Insurance, Pandemic Unemployment Compensation.