April 30, 2014
By Stephanie West
New York, NY — The city is expanding the federally-funded Temporary Disaster Assistance Program (TDAP) to allow it to provide rental assistance to low-income New Yorkers who were displaced by Hurricane Sandy and now face high rent burdens of 40 percent or more of their income.
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) recently approved the city’s proposed changes to TDAP as part of the city’s amendment to the Action Plan, which details how the city will spend the Community Development Block Grant Disaster Recovery (CDBG-DR) funds it has been allocated.
TDAP is administered by the city’s Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD). It was established to serve low-income renters – at or below 50 percent of the Area Median Income (AMI), or no more than $41,950 for a family of four per HUD’s 2014 calculations – who were displaced from their homes as a result of Hurricane Sandy. Eligibility was initially limited to displaced households who were residing in transitional housing such as hotels or shelters; facing expiring FEMA rental assistance; or registered through the Build It Back program. However, the city heard from a number of residents and advocates during the public comment period on the Action Plan, requesting a TDAP expansion.
This expansion now makes eligible all families who have already applied to TDAP, who were displaced by Hurricane Sandy and forced to relocate to long-term housing (signing a lease of a year or longer) and currently pay 40 percent or more of their income toward rent. The city has already started reaching out to those families, who were initially deemed ineligible, to bring them back into the program.
“Expanding rental assistance for low-income New Yorkers displaced by Sandy is a simple change that will go a long way for families who need real financial relief,” said Mayor de Blasio. “After Sandy forced these families relocate, they were then stuck handing over a huge portion of their income in rent. That’s unacceptable – and, now, they’ll get the support they deserve.”