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As a result of the increase, the CityFHEPS voucher would correspond to the federal housing voucher according to § 8, the holy grail of subsidized housing construction with a waiting list that lasts for years.
Landlord groups applauded the move. “We’re talking about access and the ability to have a balanced playing field,” said Basha Gerhards, senior vice president of planning at New York’s Real Estate Board, which represents the city’s largest landlords. “A voucher should not be worth more than another voucher.”
Mr de Blasio withheld his support for the plan because he said if the city voucher became more valuable than the state voucher, landlords would give priority to city voucher holders and effectively a long trend under state governor Andrew M. Cuomo promoting security accelerate. Net cost to the city.
“We are ready to go to a higher level, but we have to do this in coordination with the state or we just rob Peter to pay Paul,” said Mr de Blasio earlier this month.
His Social Services Commissioner, Steven Banks, sharpened the dilemma at a city council budget hearing on May 10, telling Mr Levin: “Negotiations with Albany are not very successful when you say, ‘Albany, please do this but if you ‘don’t, we’ll do it ourselves.’ “
A spokesman for the state agency for temporary and disability assistance, which oversees the state voucher program, suggested that landlords would raise rents to take advantage of it.
“Rent surcharges are most effective when they are provided in a targeted and needs-based manner,” said spokesman Anthony Farmer, adding that the state approach avoids “the unintended consequences of an artificial rent increase”.