Family Re-entry Pilot Program Frequently Asked Questions
Why is NYCHA partnering with other agencies to offer this program?
As made clear by the Obama Administration and as supported by the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), NYCHA believes in the importance of second chances—that people who have paid their debt to society deserve the opportunity to become productive citizens and caring parents, to set the past aside and embrace the future. Part of that support means gaining access to stable housing and being allowed to reunite with the family living in public housing.
Who is this program meant for?
This program is designed for individuals with criminal histories who are motivated not to repeat their past mistakes, and who want to rejoin their families so that they can help their loved ones (be it by being a part of their children’s lives, or by helping an aging parent, and by working and contributing to the household). The program’s goal is to assist these individuals who want to transform their lives and become productive members of their community, and to do so with support and legitimacy.
How old does a person need to be to participate in the Family Re-entry Pilot Program?
The participant must be at least 16 years old.
Does the family have to agree to have the applicant participate in the program?
Yes, an applicant’s family must agree to allow the applicant to live in the apartment if he or she is accepted into the program. Participants can live with their families as temporary occupants for two years while they are in the program.
Are all NYCHA families eligible to have a participant live with them as part of this program?
The program is not open to Section 8 families or to families living in the following 13 tax-credit developments: Amsterdam Addition, Bayview, Bushwick, Castle Hill, Chelsea, Drew-Hamilton, Frederick E. Samuel (City), Manhattanville, Marble Hill, Marlboro, Rutgers, St. Mary’s Park, and Stapleton. A participant must meet age requirements to join his or her family in a senior development. Also, an applicant will not be able to join a household if the apartment is extremely overcrowded.
Is a person eligible to participate in this program any time after he or she is released from a correctional facility?
To be eligible for the program, a person must have been released from a correctional facility (jail, prison, or a juvenile correctional facility) within the last 18 months. Applicants may also be identified and referred to the program before they are released.
What type of case management services will a participant receive and for how long?
All participants must participate in intensive case management services for at least six months, with a gradual reduction in services for up to an additional 18 months, as needed. Families also have the option to receive available support services.
Who is not eligible for the pilot program?
You are not eligible to participate in the pilot program:
- If you are a lifetime registered sex offender.
- If you have been convicted of producing methamphetamine in public housing.
- If you are currently engaged in illegal drug use or alcohol abuse that could threaten other residents’ or employees’ health and safety, and if you are not currently participating in a licensed drug or alcohol rehabilitation program.
- If you have been evicted from federally-assisted housing (public housing or Section 8, assisted through NYCHA or elsewhere) within the past three years for drug-related criminal activity, and you cannot demonstrate that you have successfully completed a licensed drug rehabilitation program or that the circumstances leading to your eviction no longer exist.
- If you have already been permanently excluded from NYCHA through the administrative termination of tenancy process.
Can I move in with my grandparents if they live in a senior-only building?
For senior-only housing, the participant must be at least 62 years old to meet the age requirements for senior housing.
What does the home visit part of the application process look like?
Once you have submitted an application and if you meet the basic criteria, NYCHA will contact your family member who is the lease holder to schedule a home visit. NYCHA will not conduct a home visit for this pilot without notifying your family member ahead of time. During the visit, a NYCHA Family Case Manager will explain the program to your family members, and ask about any potential challenges that could arise once you move into the apartment. The Family Case Manager will also assess for any supportive services your family may want to receive, and will meet with you (if you have already been released from the correctional facility).
How do I obtain information about applying for the pilot?
Individuals interested in applying for the Family Re-entry Pilot Program should call the information line at 212-306-6024 or may inquire via email to firstname.lastname@example.org to obtain more information. A NYCHA staff member will direct you to a participating service provider who will assess your eligibility for the program and for their services. If deemed to be a good candidate, the service provider will submit an application on your behalf to NYCHA.
Can I apply to be in the pilot before I am released from prison or jail?
Yes, individuals who are anticipating release and would like to join their families in NYCHA public housing can apply for the pilot program. Individuals at Rikers Island can contact Palladia Inc., Fortune Society or the Osborne Association. Individuals at other facilities should call the Family Re-entry Pilot Program information line at 212-306-6024, or speak with their discharge planner or re-entry case manager about applying.
How would this program affect my family if they are on public assistance?
Your participation in this program may adjust your family’s public assistance in the same way that any new addition to a household might alter benefits.
Would my family’s housing status be affected if I didn’t complete the program?
If you are accepted as a participant, you will have temporary permission to live with your family for two years, but you are not required to live with your family for the entire period. There is no penalty to your family if you choose to leave the program early. If you successfully complete the program and you either want to join the household permanently or want to apply for your own public housing apartment, the crimes you committed before you were in the program will not be considered as part of your application. If you leave the program early without completing it, these exceptions will not apply.
What would be the consequences for my family’s housing status, if any, in the event that I am rearrested while I am in the program?
While you are in the program, your family must, as always, comply with all tenancy obligations, including not being involved in criminal activity. Depending upon the type of criminal activity in which you are involved, including whether you are convicted, NYCHA may terminate you from the program. If so, you will be required to leave the apartment, and your family must follow NYCHA’s instructions that you leave the apartment within the time period NYCHA sets.
My family is living in a NYCHA apartment which is currently over-crowded. Am I still eligible to join the household?
As part of the screening process, NYCHA will speak to your family and will assess the family situation, including the size of the apartment, to determine whether you and your family are good candidates for participation in the program. One of the factors NYCHA will consider is overcrowding. It is unlikely that you will be admitted to the program if the household is extremely overcrowded.
My family is currently on the waiting list to be right-sized to a smaller apartment. What will happen if I am added to the household?
Pilot participants are temporary, not permanent, members of the household. Your family will be expected to move to a smaller apartment if one becomes available while you are in the program. Your case manager will assist you in locating other housing if this creates an extremely overcrowded condition.
What happens if the head of household passes away or moves out before the program participant is added to the lease?
Program participants are temporary occupants only. Like other people with temporary permission to live in a NYCHA apartment, program participants have no succession rights and may not remain in the apartment if the head of household passes away or moves out. However, if another family member with succession rights is granted Remaining Family Member status and becomes the leaseholder, that family member may ask for you to continue residing in the apartment as a temporary occupant with no succession rights. At all times, you must remain compliant with program requirements. If you cannot remain in the apartment after the head of household passes away or moves, and you remain in compliance with all program requirements, your case manager will assist you in locating other housing.