•  Summary 
  •  
  •  Actions 
  •  
  •  Committee Votes 
  •  
  •  Floor Votes 
  •  
  •  Memo 
  •  
  •  Text 
  •  
  •  LFIN 
  •  
  •  Chamber Video/Transcript 

A02525 Summary:

BILL NOA02525
 
SAME ASNo Same As
 
SPONSORHevesi
 
COSPNSRJean-Pierre, Dickens, Gonzalez-Rojas, Septimo, Simon, Brabenec
 
MLTSPNSR
 
Amd §409-a, Soc Serv L
 
Increases from $300 to $725 the monthly rent subsidy payable for housing for a foster child living independently in certain circumstances.
Go to top    

A02525 Actions:

BILL NOA02525
 
01/26/2023referred to children and families
Go to top

A02525 Memo:

NEW YORK STATE ASSEMBLY
MEMORANDUM IN SUPPORT OF LEGISLATION
submitted in accordance with Assembly Rule III, Sec 1(f)
 
BILL NUMBER: A2525
 
SPONSOR: Hevesi
  TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the social services law, in relation to increasing from $300 a month to $725 a month the rent subsidy payable to a foster child living independently   PURPOSE OR GENERAL IDEA OF BILL: This bill will ensure the housing subsidy program is better able to prevent homelessness and address housing instability for families and youth aging out of foster care, this statute includes two components: *Increases the monthly limit to $725 (from $300) *Increases the upper age limit of subsidy eligibility from 21 to 24 so that youth who age out of foster care from ages 18-21 can avail them- selves of the subsidy for up to 3 years.   SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS: Section 1 of the bill amends subdivision 5, paragraph (c) of section 409-a of the social services law as amended by chapter 624 of the laws of 2019 to increase from $300 a month to $725 a month, the maximum rent subsidy or assistance for foster care youth who are leaving care. The subsidy is allowed when a social services official determines that a lack of adequate housing is the primary factor preventing the discharge of a child or children from foster care. Section 2 amends subdivision 7 of section 409-a of the social services law to provide the same increase in the maximum rent subsidy or assist- ance in relation to foster care preventive services. Section 3 provides for this act to take effect immediately. Section 3 is the effective date.   DIFFERENCE BETWEEN ORIGINAL AND AMENDED VERSION (IF APPLICABLE): This amendment restores the bill to its A-print, which increases the maximum monthly rent subsidy or assistance amount to $725 (rather than to $600, as provided in original version) based on updated inflation rate data. It does not include language from the B-print which would have required that in subsequent years, the commissioner set the maximum monthly rent subsidy or assistance amount at the previous fiscal year amount, indexed to any positive growth in the Consumer Price Index.   JUSTIFICATION: Housing stability and child welfare are inextricably linked. Research has shown a higher rate of homelessness among those involved with the child welfare system than other low-income families and that housing can be a barrier to reunification.i "Homeless families are more likely than their non-homeless counterparts to be the focus of a child protective services (CPS) investigation, to have an open child welfare case or to have a child placed in out of home care. ii Furthermore, as documented in a recent U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) report, youth who age out of foster care are at a heightened risk of homelessness. iii In 1988, New York created the child welfare housing subsidy to help address homelessness and housing instability for families with open child welfare cases and youth aging out of foster care. Specifically, since 1988, the law has authorized local social service districts to provide eligible families and youth with a housing subsidy of up to $300 per month for up to 3 years or until reaching the limit of $10,800. The housing subsidy program is a preventive service, pursuant to State Social Service law and corresponding regulations.iv The goal of the child welfare housing subsidy program is to stabilize housing situations and prevent homelessness so as to help prevent foster care placements, expedite reunification, and help youth aging out of foster care. Thus, families with open CPS investigations, families receiving preventive services, families where children are reunifying from foster care, and youth ages 18-21 have been eligible for the housing subsidy. Given that the $300 monthly limit has not increased since 1988, has not been adjusted for inflation, and does not reflect the Fair Market Rent in New York City (or almost all counties in New York), the $300 housing subsidy is no longer a significant enough rental assistance mechanism to secure and stabilize housing for families or youth. aging out of foster care in almost any county in New York State. If the $300 subsidy is adjusted for inflation using the United States Department of Labor Consumer Price Index (CPI) inflation calculator, $300 in 1988 has the same buying power as $720.69 in 2021. With regard to New York's youth, the child welfare laws enable youth to remain in foster care up to age 21. For those youth who choose to do this, they are not ever able to receive the housing subsidy, as it has been interpreted to end at age 21. These youth never get the opportunity to avail themselves of the child welfare housing subsidy, which would otherwise be an important support for these young adults as they first learn to live on their own, pay rent, and support themselves. The feder- al government has recognized the value of enabling youth to remain in foster care through age 21 (rather than 18) and in 2008 passed the Fostering Connections to Success Act, which extended federal reimburse- ment for foster care up to age 21.0ther states are now beginning to follow New York's lead in this area. Extending the child welfare housing subsidy through age 24 would be in line with this practice and best support young people through age 21 and beyond. In summary, these steps would go a long way towards helping to address the homeless crisis, and will strengthen and support families. involved with the child' welfare system and youth aging out of foster care.   PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: A.1777C (2021-2022); A.2302 (2019-2020); A.259 (2017-2018); A.7756-A (20152016)   FISCAL IMPLICATIONS FOR STATE AND LOCAL GOVERNMENTS: To be determined.   EFFECTIVE DATE: Immediately. i Dworsky, Amy. Families at the Nexus of Housing and Child Welfare. Chapin Hall. Nov. 2014. HTTP://CHILDWELFARESPARC.ORQ(WP-CONTENT/UPLOADS/ acns/12/FAMILIES-AT-THE-NEXUSOF- HOUSING-AND-CHILDWELFARE.PDF. ii Id. iii U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). Housing for Youth Aging out of Foster Care. May 2014. , HTTP//WVVW.HUDUSER.GOV/PORT / PUBLICATIONS/PDF/YOUTH HSG MAIN REFORT.PDF.ct. iv Social Service Law Section 409-05) (0; i8 NYCRR 423.3 (b) (ii); 18NYCRR. 4234(1). v U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics. CPI Inflation Calcula- tor. https://www.b1s.gov/data/inflation_calculator.htm
Go to top

A02525 Text:



 
                STATE OF NEW YORK
        ________________________________________________________________________
 
                                          2525
 
                               2023-2024 Regular Sessions
 
                   IN ASSEMBLY
 
                                    January 26, 2023
                                       ___________
 
        Introduced  by  M.  of  A. HEVESI, JEAN-PIERRE, DICKENS, GONZALEZ-ROJAS,
          SEPTIMO, SIMON, BRABENEC -- read once and referred to the Committee on
          Children and Families
 
        AN ACT to amend the social services law, in relation to increasing  from
          $300  a  month  to  $725  a month the rent subsidy payable to a foster
          child living independently

          The People of the State of New York, represented in Senate and  Assem-
        bly, do enact as follows:
 
     1    Section  1.  Paragraph  (c)  of  subdivision 5 of section 409-a of the
     2  social services law, as amended by chapter 624 of the laws of  2019,  is
     3  amended to read as follows:
     4    (c)  Notwithstanding  any  other  provision  of  this section, where a
     5  social services official determines that a lack of adequate  housing  is
     6  the  primary factor preventing the discharge of a child or children from
     7  foster care including, but not limited to, children  with  the  goal  of
     8  discharge  to  independent living, preventive services shall include, in
     9  addition to any other payments  or  benefits  received  by  the  family,
    10  special  cash  grants  in  the  form  of  rent subsidies, including rent
    11  arrears, or any other assistance, sufficient to obtain adequate housing.
    12  Such rent subsidies or assistance shall not exceed the  sum  of  [three]
    13  seven hundred twenty-five dollars per month, shall not be provided for a
    14  period  of  more than three years, may be provided up to age twenty-four
    15  for youth discharged from foster care, and shall be considered a special
    16  grant. Nothing in this paragraph shall be construed to limit the ability
    17  of those using such rent subsidy to live with roommates. The  provisions
    18  of  this  paragraph  shall  not  be  construed  to limit such official's
    19  authority to provide other preventive services.
    20    § 2. Subdivision 7 of section 409-a of the  social  services  law,  as
    21  amended  by  chapter  624  of  the  laws  of 2019, is amended to read as
    22  follows:
 
         EXPLANATION--Matter in italics (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                              [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                                   LBD05002-01-3

        A. 2525                             2
 
     1    7. Notwithstanding any other provision of this section,  if  a  social
     2  services official determines that a lack of adequate housing is a factor
     3  that may cause the entry of a child or children into foster care and the
     4  family  has  at least one service need other than lack of adequate hous-
     5  ing,  preventive services may include, in addition to any other payments
     6  or benefits received by the family, special cash grants in the  form  of
     7  rent  subsidies, including rent arrears, or any other assistance, suffi-
     8  cient to obtain adequate housing.  Such  rent  subsidies  or  assistance
     9  shall  not  exceed  the sum of [three] seven hundred twenty-five dollars
    10  per month, shall not be provided for a period of more than three  years,
    11  may  be  provided up to age twenty-four for youth discharged from foster
    12  care, and shall be considered a special grant. Nothing in this  subdivi-
    13  sion  shall  be  construed to limit the ability of those using such rent
    14  subsidy to live with roommates. The provisions of this  paragraph  shall
    15  not  be  construed  to  limit such official's authority to provide other
    16  preventive services.
    17    § 3. This act shall take effect immediately.
Go to top