After a busy day at work, you walk by a homeless man sitting on the on the street of New York City and a feeling of pain and compassion comes over you. Can you relate? You might even say to yourself, “I wish there was a way I can help this human being start his life again!”
Well, what if I would tell you that as a real estate developer, there is a way that you can give to the homeless and give to yourself as well!
There is an exciting new City Rental Supplement Program that is exclusively available for specific affordable housing developments. The Human Resources Administration (HRA) will now offer Augmented CityFHEPS Rental Assistance, to cover the rent of affordable units at 130% AMI!
This new program provides a twofold goal of increasing your rental income opportunities and decreasing the lease-up time for affordable housing units.
By choosing to set-aside Voluntary Homeless units in any of your development that is enjoying the 421a – 16 benefits, you will receive Augmented CityFHEPS Rental Assistance to cover the full rent amount set at 130% AMI, which in many a case may be more than your market units’ rental income!
For each unit leased through the Augmented CityFHEPS Rental Assistance program, the owner will receive the full first month’s rent and the next three (3) months of Augmented CityFHEPS Rental Assistance up front! Thereafter, payments will be made on a monthly basis. Augmented CityFHEPS also takes into account yearly rental increases, and will increase payment to include such per the DHCR guidelines. As the owner, you will benefit from guaranteed monthly rent payments and low vacancy rates. The Augmented CityFHEPS program guarantees to maintain payments for 5 years for qualifying households.
Tenant share of the rent is determined based on its family’s gross annual income and family size. Generally, families pay at least 30 percent but no more than 40 percent of their adjusted monthly income toward their rent share. Augmented CityFHEPS Rental Assistance program will pay the amount to the owner on the family’s behalf.
Reside New York performs extensive credit checks and criminal background examinations to ensure that the homeless applicants are the right fit for your building per HPD’s rules and guidelines.
Pros to this process include a fast lease-up process, high rents, and the option to return this unit to the lottery pool once the original households end their lease.
We are pleased to make this new program accessible to ensure you are able to collect the anticipated rents for your affordable units and maintain the financial viability of your project. To become an owner participating in these programs is easy. Contact us today if your development is eligible and can benefit from this program.
1. What is the requirement the owner needs to satisfy to qualify for Augmented CityFheps Assistance?
Any Affordable Unit in a project benefiting from the 421a(16) Affordable New York tax exemption program may receive Augmented CityFHEPS Payments.
2. Can this work in conjunction with other HPD benefits (AIRS, 421a, MIH, VIH,)?
This program is recommended for 421a approved units as it is better than any other program in terms of rent amounts. ex: AIRS (which is 421a compatible) and Section 8 only allow rents up to 80% AMI, this is at 130% AMI.
3. Who applies for the Augmented CityFheps Assistance, the owner or the tenant?
The owner voluntarily offers the units to homeless. HPD’s Homeless Placement Services program (HPs) will refer homeless families and individuals who qualify for CityFHEPS rental assistance.
4. What is the process for the owner/marketing agent to receive referrals of homeless clients and fill the Affordable units?
HPD’s Homeless Placement Services Program (HPS) will facilitate the referrals of shelter clients. Each project is assigned a Homeless Rental Coordinator who serves as the point of contact with the HPD approved marketing agent on all matters related to homeless placements for the project and works to ensure the timely lease-up of those units. As your Marketing agent we will coordinate the entire process from referral requests to subsidy payment receipt. Reside New York will handle all paperwork and be in constant contact with your coordinator to ensure subsidy payments are initiated, and tenant’s security vouchers and furniture allowances are issued.
5. Who runs this program? is it only HPD or other agencies involved as well?
This program is under HPD oversight, they notify HPS (Homeless Placement Services) of the unit availability, HPS refers the actual households for placement.
6. What are the ongoing landlords responsibilities?
The landlords responsibilities and rights are the same as with any other tenant. One exception with the HPS program is the owner must take responsibility for heat and hot water, HPD will reimburse the expense with a fixed monthly payment. If the heat and hot water is powered by electric owners must take responsibility for electricity as well. HRA will provide a supplemental monthly payment for utilities on top of the rental payments from CityFHEPS!
7. Is the utility reimbursement based on a fixed number?
The utility reimbursement is a fixed number, regardless of the actual bill. The actual Supplemental utility payment is based on utility type.
8. Does the program make one payment for the entity or a separate payment for each tenant?
Each tenant is a separate account, payment will arrive for every individual tenant on a monthly basis.
9. Do I enter into leases with the referred households or with the City?
Once your marketing agent determines a household to be eligible, you will enter into a lease with that household directly, just as you would for any household that came through the lottery or was referred to a homeless set aside unit. Any contractual relationship will be solely between each tenant participating in the program and each tenant’s landlord participating in the program.
10. How many months is the lease commitment?
The tenant gets to choose between a 1 year and a 2-year lease, and renewals are subject to the rent stabilization laws.
11. For how long will the unit be stabilized? If the voucher was terminated due to any reason by the landlord, tenant or city is the unit destabilized?
The unit is stabilized for the life of the 421a benefits (35 years) or until the affordable tenant vacates the unit whichever occurs LAST.
12. Until which point in the process can the Landlord decide not to pursue with the voucher tenant and pursue with a market rate tenant?
Once the project has an approved 421a workbook the units can no longer be offered on the free market. If the lease is terminated, you may choose to get a new HPS referral or can then opt for the lottery process.
13. Are there any ongoing filing requirements to the landlord?
The requirements are the same as all other 421a projects which are, Quarterly rent rolls and annual DHCR. Reside New York’s DHCR and Monitoring team will handle all applicable filings on behalf of the owner. No additional filings are required in reference to Augmented CityFHEPS Assistance.
14. If a tenant is no longer qualified for the voucher whose responsibility is it to pay the rent?
Per CityFHEPS, it’s very rare that a tenant falls off the program however the tenant is the one signing the lease and is responsible for the unit and the rent payments.
15. If the tenant does not pay their portion of the rent will the voucher payments be affected?
Voucher payments will be received uninterrupted, regardless of tenant payment. However some tenants may be eligible for additional Rental assistance that covers their rent share as well.
16. If the Tenant does not have income will the voucher pay 100% of the allowed rents?
Yes! The voucher will pay 100% of the lease agreement.
17. What is the max rent the owner can collect?
We are here to service all your Affordable Housing marketing needs. For more information about our affordable marketing services kindly reach out to our professional team at email@example.com, or by phone to Sam Rosenberg – 718-387-4448 – Ext 130
We stand behind your project from the planning stages to 100% TIMELY occupancy ready and eager to take on your new development!
This article was published on: 12/8/20