ABOUT Work Advantage
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ABOUT THE PROGRAM Work Advantage invests in homeless families who work full or part-time by giving them the rent support they need to move towards independence. It provides a strong motivation to work while moving families out of shelter and into the community. Work Advantage rewards work and provides incentives to increase earnings as continued eligibility is not tied to public assistance status. Work Advantage promotes independence and sustainability when the program ends by requiring up to a 20% savings and a monthly $50 rent payment from the client (which will then be matched by DHS), and assures landlords of rent payments. This is a one-year program that is available for a second year to families who continue to be in need and meet program criteria. In addition, this comprehensive program includes a package of transitional benefits that support work and economic stability, such as food stamps, Medicaid, and child care, if needed. Other services, such as training, job search, and job retention are available through the Human Resources Administration. Financial education and access to bank accounts, tax credits, and help with saving and making their money grow for the future will be accessible through the Department of Consumer Affairs’ Office of Financial Empowerment. INFORMATION FOR LANDLORDS AND BROKERS Top Benefits for Landlords of Work Advantage Program 1. Rent level based on family size 2. Up to one year of assured rental payments regardless of tenants’ Public Assistance status 3. Competitive, market rates 4. Payments up front — pro-rated rent, three month’s rent, one month’s security and one month’s broker’s fee at lease signing 5. Possible Electronic Funds Transfer for rent payments 6. Quick apartment registration and clearance 7. Expedited lease signings, resulting in shorter apartment down time 8. Citywide Aftercare program to support tenants while in apartment/community 9. Helping homeless families leave shelter for permanent homes, self-sufficiency and independence Landlords may rent their apartments through the Advantage Program by following a few simple steps: REGISTERING AN APARTMENT & CLEARANCE Landlords or brokers may call the Office of Re-housing Registration Hotline number at 212-361-6611/6612/6613/6614. Prior to certification of an apartment, DHS reviews the Department of Housing Preservation and Development's (HPD) and the Department of Buildings'(DOB) databases for open lead paint violations, vacate orders, and/or illegal creation or conversion of an apartment. If any of these issues are present, DHS will not process the apartment. To download an apartment registration form, click here. APARTMENT INSPECTIONS Once an apartment passes clearance, DHS staff will contact the landlord to schedule an inspection. This inspection will be a Section 8 quality inspection. DHS reviewers will fill out a DHS Summary Notice detailing any work that needs to be done postinspection. Please click on Sample DHS Summary Notice to see a sample of this document. To to schedule an inspection (if apartment is already registered for the Advantage Program) call 212-361-7367/7481/6997. Conditions in which an apartment PASSES INSPECTION: All inspection standards outlined in the HUD HQS form (Click on the HUD Housing Quality Standards (HQS) form to see a sample inspection document that outlines all the conditions reviewers will include in the inspection) must be met, and any lead paint hazard (based on observance of distressed paint conditions) must be remedied before an apartment passes inspection. Conditions in which an apartment will NOT BE INSPECTED: Building does not have address number Apartment does not have unit number (in buildings with two or more units) No one 21 years of age or older is present to show the apartment Animals are in the apartment Apartment is under construction or work is in progress; this includes, but is not limited to: o Equipment throughout the apartment o Painting o Plastering o Sheet Rocking in progress (Minor or location-specific repairs in progress may be acceptable) Conditions in which an apartment will not pass Inspection and needs to be RE-INSPECTED The apartments in the Advantage program are subject to the same standards as Section 8 apartment inspections. Click on the HUD Housing Quality Standards (HQS) form to see a sample inspection document that outlines all the conditions reviewers will include in the inspection. Re-inspections may be scheduled once all necessary repairs are made. Conditions in which a Landlord must REMEDIATE A PRESUMED LEAD PAINT HAZARD: Distressed paint conditions are found in the apartment DHS reviewers will conduct a visual assessment of potential lead hazards. If a presumed lead paint hazard is found during this assessment, the landlord must return a completed DHS Lead Paint Clearance Report to DHS' Office of Re-housing (OOR) indicating correction of the distressed paint conditions (in accordance with the rules of the City of New York), and provide OOR with passing lead results of lead dust tests conducted in the apartment. In the event that non-lead related standards are not met the apartment will only be re-inspected once the above process regarding lead paint conditions is conducted and the lead paint hazard is corrected. An apartment will NOT be re-inspected if distressed paint conditions are observed, but all other required standards are met. Landlord will be required to remediate a lead paint hazard by following the process outlined here. SCHEDULE A LEASE SIGNING Once a landlord or broker and an Advantage program client agree to enter into a lease on an Advantage program certified apartment, a one-year lease (with lease rider) can usually be signed within one week. To schedule a lease signing appointment, Landlords/Brokers should fax an apartment linking form and all required documents to: 718-688-8631. Once they receive all required documents, the Office of Re-housing will contact the landlord, broker (if applicable) and client's housing specialist with information about the lease signing date and location. PAYMENT INFORMATION At lease signing, DHS will pay: Pro-rated portion of the current month's rent to landlord One month's security deposit to landlord Three months' advanced rent to landlord Furniture allowance to cover basic furniture expenses to client One month's rent broker's fee to a NYS licensed real estate broker -or- One month's rent non-broker's finder's fee to a not-for-profit organization with 501(c)3 status that refer apartments to DHS resulting in a client moveout from shelter to permanent housing Side deals and additional charges beyond the Advantage program monthly scheduled rent for the family or individual are prohibited. RENTAL PAYMENTS The Work Advantage program rental payments will be made directly to the landlord on a monthly basis until the expiration of the one-year lease. Following is a chart outlining the rental supplement amount. Amount of Rental Supplement (Not to Exceed Legal Rent) Family Composition Maximum Rent Client Maximum Rent Subsidy 1 2 3 and 4 person person person $889 $50 $839 $962 $50 $912 $1,070 $50 $1,020 5 and 6 person $1,316 $50 $1,266 7 and 8 person $1,354 $50 $1,304 Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) for Rent Payments Landlords who are interested in receiving rent payments through the Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) Direct Deposit Program, can click here to learn more. This program provides an efficient method of payment to vendors funded through City agencies. Vendors enrolled in this program will receive payment directly to an authorized bank account. AFTERCARE SERVICES Tenants and landlords will have access to HomeBase, DHS’ nationally recognized homelessness prevention program, for “aftercare” services including: Tenant conflict resolution Tenant recertification assistance Good neighbor education Payment resolution For more information about these services, contact the Office of Rehousing. DOCUMENTS Click here for a list of all documents required by landlords and brokers to expedite an apartment registration, inspection and linking and to schedule a lease-signing date.