Schenectady County to offer housing assistance with new program

Schenectady County to offer housing assistance with new program

chanectadi – Schenectady County will partner with Bethesda House to provide permanent housing to dozens of individuals who are homeless or at risk of homelessness after receiving a state grant of more than half a million dollars.

The Schenectady County Rental Supplement Program will be funded by a $536,305 grant by the state’s Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance as part of a $100 million statewide initiative to provide housing assistance to those at imminent risk of homelessness or loss of housing Will be given.

The county legislature will vote on Wednesday to accept the money.

Paul Brady, the county’s social services commissioner, said the funding would provide fair market housing assistance to about 43 families for the next year, the equivalent of about $1,000 a month for a two-bedroom apartment.

“The Rent Supplemental Program is really geared towards individuals who are currently homeless or at risk of homelessness, and it allows us to pay their rent based on the income they bring into the home,” she said.

Brady said last week during a meeting of the county’s committee on health, housing and human services that households with an annual income of 50% of the area’s median income — the equivalent of $40,000 a year for a family of four — would be eligible for the program. For.

He said the county will work with Bethesda House, which has been providing services to low-income and homeless populations for more than 30 years, to identify families for the program based on the length of time they’ve been living. Huh. Shelter and annual income of each household.

“Being on public aid, while this would make one eligible, is not the only criterion for administering this program,” Brady said.

Bethesda House officials were not available for comment Friday.

An increasing number of people have been receiving some form of public assistance over the past year, as the cost of living continues to rise due to rising inflation, which has raised everything from household energy costs, grocery bills and gasoline prices. .

In August, a total of 2,362 individuals in Schenectady County received some sort of temporary assistance, an increase of 514 from August 2021, or 28%, according to the most recent state data.

According to state data, the number has increased every month since July 2021, when there were a total of 1,815 recipients of temporary assistance.

According to the US Department of Labor, the consumer price index, or change in cost of living, rose 8.2% between September 2021 and September 2022. The index is down from its June high of 9%.

Brady said the Supplemental Housing Program provides additional housing assistance compared to pre-existing programs, which typically offer between $400 and $600 per month to help cover the cost of rent. It is hoped that the state will continue to finance the program in the years to come, which will lead to expansion of the programme, he said.

“I think it has the potential to be a good seed program and hopefully it will grow over the next few years,” Brady said.

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