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Housing Programs & Services

FHEPS: Changes under COVID-19

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Summary

FHEPS is a rent supplement in NYC for households with minor dependent children in receipt of Cash Assistance (CA) who have been evicted or who are facing eviction, or who lost their housing because of health or safety issues, certain court decisions, or domestic violence. FHEPS is administered by NYC Human Resources Administration (HRA) and NYS Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance (OTDA).

If you are a Benefits Plus subscriber, for additional information on FHEPS, refer to Benefits Plus, Cash Benefits, Cash Assistance, Housing Subsidies, State FHEPS. For subscription information visit: https://bplc.cssny.org/home/subscription_options.

Eligibility of Applicant Households in the Community

In March 2021, NYS OTDA approved a waiver that eliminates the “Lawsuit Requirement” for State FHEPS applications until May 1st or until the NYS eviction moratorium is lifted.

Prior to the waiver, to qualify for FHEPS when households are not residing in a shelter, the household must be in the community facing homelessness or will become homeless by meeting one of the following criteria:

  • Subject to an eviction proceeding due to nonpayment of excess rent, or
  • Subject to an eviction proceeding within the last 12 months, or
  • Foreclosure action has commenced.

While the waiver is in place, a household may be eligible for State FHEPS without the need for an eviction case in Housing Court, if the landlord has made a written rent demand or given the tenant a letter threatening to sue for nonpayment and eviction. The household will also have to complete the hardship declaration form utilized to prevent eviction until May 1st under the NYS COVID-19 Emergency Eviction and Foreclosure Prevention Act (EEFPA). To learn more about this form and EEFPA, see above, Eviction Moratoriums, Protections Against Residential Evictions, NYS COVID-19 Emergency Eviction and Foreclosure Prevention Act.

All other eligibility requirements for State FHEPS remain unchanged.

Advocacy Tip

Tenants who are being sued in housing court should consult with an attorney to determine if there are any eviction protections that will prevent an eviction, see above, Eviction Moratoriums, Protections Against Residential Evictions.
NYC Tenants without legal representation who receive notices from the court should call 311 and/or Housing Court Answers at 212-962-4795, Monday – Friday, 9am-5pm. When calling 311, tenants should ask to be connected to the Tenant Helpline, where they may be able to access free legal representation. Housing Court Answers is a valuable resource for questions about answering court notices and the current housing court processes.
Tenants with legal representation should contact their attorneys.
For additional tenant resources, see below, Additional Resources, Tenant Resources.

Applying for FHEPS

Households who are represented by a nonprofit legal service provider should work with their attorney or contact their nearest Homebase to access and apply for FHEPS.

Households that do not have legal representation but have an active Cash Assistance case can get screened for FHEPS after they apply for Cash/Emergency Assistance on ACCESS HRA or at an open HRA Job Center. Additionally, HRA is implementing a signature waiver for FHEPS application. The signature waiver allows HRA staff to complete applications over the phone and sign on behalf of clients.