NEW YORK — The Adams administration is launching a new initiative that aims to use city vouchers for homeless New Yorkers to create subsidized housing in market-rate buildings.
Under the program first reported by POLITICO, nonprofits contracting with the city can lease buildings from private landlords for up to nine years, before leasing those apartments to CityFHEPS voucher holders.
The city also works with nonprofits to acquire the buildings, with contracts lasting more than 30 years to provide payment vouchers for these properties.
“What’s really unique here is that the city is dedicating social service dollars to address affordable housing supply issues,” Social Services Commissioner Molly Wasow Park said in an interview.
An agency spokesperson did not disclose the expected cost of the program.
Mayor Eric Adams will also issue an emergency declaration Thursday to expedite contracting with nonprofits, allowing providers to more quickly lease buildings and move voucher holders into them. Officials said the move would help accelerate the creation of 1,000 subsidized housing units.
This effort aims to accelerate the exit from homeless shelters for more than 10,000 households who have CityFHEPS vouchers but have been unable to find apartments on the open market, given the severe housing shortage in the city.
The announcement also comes amid a growing fight between Adams and the City Council over the program. The Legislature approved a resolution Thursday authorizing the agency to sue the administration for failing to implement reforms to expand access to vouchers. The Council overrode the mayor’s veto of the measure in July.
“There is no final decision yet regarding any legal action, but this maintains our ability to keep our options open,” President Adrienne Adams told reporters before the council meeting.
The administration has argued that the imposed changes would be too costly and that the main problem with CityFHEPS is that there are too few places to use the…