Thursday, March 17, 2011

NYC: 15,000 ex-homeless families losing rent help

NEW YORK — New York City is notifying more than 15,000 formerly homeless individuals and families that they shouldn't expect government help with their rent starting in two weeks.

The city's Department of Homeless Services says state budget cuts are forcing it to cancel the Advantage program that helps the homeless leave shelters once they've found jobs. Advocates say most families that stand to lose the subsidy can't afford to stay in their apartments.

DHS says Thursday it expects the cuts will force 4,400 families back into shelters and expand the overall family shelter population by 51 percent to 39,000 individuals.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo spokesman Josh Vlasto argues the city could pay for the program if it wanted to. He says the city "seems intent on manufacturing a crisis and endangering thousands of New Yorkers."

—Copyright 2011 Associated Press

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