NYC’s new ‘Project Home’ aims to provide domestic violence survivors with permanent housing more quickly

Mayor Eric Adams announces Project Home plan for domestic violence survivors
Mayor Eric Adams launched a new pilot program to help connect domestic violence survivor families to permanent housing. Monday, April 15, 2024.
Credit: Ed Reed/Mayoral Photography Office.

Mayor Eric Adams on Monday launched “Project Home,” a pilot program aimed at providing domestic violence survivors with children living in homeless shelters more assistance in securing permanent housing, while also instituting policy changes allowing them to access supportive and affordable housing units.

The mayor, during a City Hall news conference on Monday morning, said Project Home would provide 100 domestic violence survivor families with children help in quickly securing permanent housing using housing vouchers issued under the CityFHEPS program

The pilot, a partnership with the nonprofit domestic violence organization New Destiny Housing, will pair the randomly-selected eligible families with “specialized housing navigators” who will help them find suitable apartments, advocate on their behalf with landlords and walk them through the application process.

“We are going to help 100 families in this pilot, rebuild their lives, find safe permanent homes and reduce the time they have to spend in shelter,” Adams said.

The mayor said Project Home is part of delivering on his $43 million “Women Forward NYC” gender equity plan unveiled earlier this year.

The pilot program also includes an “aftercare coordinator” who will work with families after they secure a new housing placement, according to City Hall. They will assist with financial coaching, connecting families to medical services, linking them to schools and to counseling for recovering from trauma caused by their abusers.

The program is being funded through a $300,000 grant from the NYC Fund to End Youth & Family Homelessness, as well as the vouchers already funded through CityFHEPS.

Mayor Adams also announced policy changes granting those living in city Human Resources Administration (HRA) Domestic Violence Shelters access to two kinds of housing that are not currently available to them: supportive units operated by the Department of Health (DOHMH) and affordable units controlled by the Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD).

Previously, only those with severe mental health issues and currently living in Department of Homeless Services shelters were able to access the supportive and affordable apartments run by DOHMH and HPD. 

The mayor said making more housing options available to domestic violence survivors will help them move out of shelters faster.

“For too long bureaucratic rules have prevented survivors from applying for supportive and affordable housing that was set aside for families leaving city shelter,” he said. “But we’re putting an end to that and ensuring that survivors have even more permanent housing options available to them, allowing clients to apply directly to more units and shortening their stays in shelter.”

Nicole Branca, executive director of New Destiny Housing, said the new policy changes allowing domestic violence survivors access to city supportive housing units will ensure they have the necessary mental health services to recover from the trauma they experienced.

“A lot of our survivors struggle with the long term physical and mental effects of abuse,” Branca said. “Both of them and the children who witnessed it and sadly sometimes experienced it themselves. And so this is incredible to be able to offer this resource to our tenants moving forward.”

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