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Emergency housing vouchers arrive for homeless people on Long Island

U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development

The Biden administration’s first round of emergency housing vouchers made available during the pandemic are being distributed to homeless and at-risk families on Long Island. Eight homeless and recently homeless households received the first of 24 vouchers in the Town of Brookhaven.

This is part of President Biden’s American Rescue Plan, which allocated funding for 70,000 emergency housing vouchers nationwide. New York received 1,500 of those vouchers in late September.

Housing vouchers are also available to survivors of domestic violence.

The vouchers are administered by public housing authorities, but referrals must be made through local coordinated entry systems, which are often nonprofits organizations. So far, more than 380 referrals have been submitted by the Long Island Coalition for the Homeless to help homeless and at-risk families

“Finally! This is the exact type of resource that allows local partners to address homelessness in a more meaningful way, by exiting more households out of homelessness and ensuring long-term housing stability,” Michael Giuffrida, the coalition’s associate director who oversees its coordinated entry team, said in a statement.

Participants pay 30% of their household income toward rent while the vouchers cover the balance, up to the region’s fair market rent. A two-bedroom apartment on Long Island is $1,992 per month. The coalition is coordinating with landlords across Long Island for this program, which includes guaranteed rental payments and incentives for landlords.

Julio is a former intern with WSHU Public Radio.