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Temporary Housing Assistance
Adult Families

Applying for Temporary Housing Assistance

What constitutes an adult family?
The Department of Homeless Services (DHS) considers an adult family to be any family without minor children, including the following household compositions:

  1. Applicants who are a legally married couple and present a valid original marriage certificate; or
  2. Applicants who are a domestic partners couple and present a valid original domestic partnership certificate; or
  3. Adults who provide, as part of their application for Temporary Housing Assistance, proof establishing the medical dependence of one applicant upon another; Two or more adults who can provide birth certificates to prove a parent/child or sibling family relationship or share a "caretaking" (emotionally or physically supportive) relationship, including: (i) aunt/uncle to niece/nephew; (ii) grandparent to grandchild; (iii) parent to child or step-child; and (iv) siblings; and can demonstrate that they have resided with one another for 180 days within the year immediately prior to the date of their application.

*Clients must be able to verify that their household constitutes a family as defined above.

Where do families with children over 21 apply for shelter?

Adult Family Intake Center (AFIC)
400-430 East 30th Street
New York, NY 10016.
AFIC is open 24 hours per day, including weekends and holidays.

How to Get There:
Subway: Take the 6 train to 28th Street. Walk east to 1st Avenue and turn left, heading north to 30th Street

Bus: M15 to 29th Street

What if I don’t speak English?
Interpreter assistance will be made available for individuals who do not speak English.

What do adult families need to bring to AFIC in order to apply for temporary housing assistance?
Adult families applying for shelter must have valid original identification, such as:

  • Any form of ID with a picture and proof of age, such as a welfare ID card, green card, driver's license, passport/visa, or picture employment card.
  • Birth certificate,
  • Social security card
  • Medicaid card
  • Identity card in the public assistance system
    If working, your most recent pay stub
It is also a requirement for each applicant to provide proof of residence for the last year. As such, it is always useful if clients are able to bring documents such as eviction papers or marshal's notices, leases, Con Edison or telephone bills, pay stubs, or proof of income.

Please be advised that clients should not bring the following items into AFIC:

  • Any contraband, alcohol, or illegal substances (smoking is not allowed in public buildings within New York City)
  • Expensive personal belongings (DHS is not responsible for lost or damaged goods)
  • Friends and visitors, or anyone not a part of the applicant family
  • Food
  • Furniture
  • Cameras
  • Appliances
  • Pets

What is involved with the application process for adult families?
Adult families must apply for shelter in order to ensure that they do not have an alternative housing option available to them. DHS firmly believes that families are best served in their communities through prevention efforts and that they should only utilize temporary emergency shelter as a last resort when they are experiencing an immediate housing crisis.

Once an adult family arrives at AFIC, they will first be interviewed by a caseworker, who will inquire about their living situation and explain the services that may help them avoid shelter altogether-including family mediation, anti-eviction legal services, out-of-city relocation assistance, Family Eviction Prevention Supplement (FEPS), or a one-shot deal through the New York City Human Resources Administration (HRA).

If these services do not apply to a family’s specific circumstances, a DHS family worker interviews the family to obtain information about their prior living situation. Families may be assigned a temporary shelter placement for up to 10 days while DHS investigates the information provided during the interview. Based on the investigation, DHS determines whether the family is eligible or ineligible for shelter, based on whether they have fully cooperated with the application and eligibility process and/or have other housing options available to them.

What if I disagree with the Agency’s eligibility determination?
Every household has a right to a legal conference at AFIC if they are found ineligible and disagree with the decision. In addition, they have 60 days after being found ineligible to request a Fair Hearing from New York State.

The Shelter System
What is expected of adult families in shelter?
Once clients enter shelter, they have certain responsibilities that they must meet, including obtaining and maintaining employment for all those who are able to work.

With the assistance of their caseworkers, households will develop an Independent Living Plan (ILP), a document that outlines relevant goals to exit shelter and return to self-sufficiency. Now, more than ever, employment-focused programs and work supports remain a cornerstone of DHS' efforts to help clients move back to permanency. Through DHS' policy of Client Responsibility, individuals and adult families in shelter must actively participate in this process and take strides toward independent living.

Expectations for Adult Families in Shelter:

  • Cooperate in carrying out, developing and completing their ILP, which includes the steps toward obtaining permanent housing
  • Applying for Public Assistance (PA) and completing all requirements necessary for establishing and maintaining eligibility for PA benefits
  • If able to work, actively seeking employment and accepting a suitable job offer when it is offered.
  • Working closely with their caseworker or housing specialist to locate and view available apartments
  • Actively seeking permanent housing by viewing available apartments several times per week
  • Accepting a suitable apartment when it is offered
  • Following shelter guidelines that prohibit behavior that places other clients and staff at risk
Failing to abide by these rules may have serious consequences, including but not limited to the temporary discontinuance of shelter services. When clients work closely with shelter staff and follow these and other rules, DHS can best assist them to transition quickly back to the community.