NYC to Stop Rent Assistance for Thousands of Formerly Homeless

The city canceled the program after losing state and federal funding.

Saturday, Feb 4, 2012  |  Updated 9:01 AM EDT
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New York City is cutting off rent-assistance payments to about 9,000 homeless families following a court decision, and advocates are warning that the move could flood the city's shelter system.

The city canceled the Advantage rent-subsidy program in March after it lost state and federal funding. A court order that was lifted Thursday had forced the city to continue payments while legal challenges to the decision played out.

An appeal is set to be heard next week, but officials said Friday the city plans to stop paying participants' rent immediately.

Department of Homeless Services Commissioner Seth Diamond says the program is too expensive for the city to support alone. But Mary Brosnahan, executive director of the Coalition for the Homeless, says it's cheaper than putting people in shelter.

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