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The Mayor's Office to End Domestic and Gender-Based Violence Announces Innovative Partnership to Prevent Homelessness Among Domestic Violence Survivors Reaches Milestone

NEW YORK, NY—Survivors of domestic violence often struggle to find housing, in a city where housing can be challenging, and relocation is one of many ways they are able to reach safety. Five years ago, to address this issue, the Mayor’s Office to End Domestic and Gender-Based Violence (ENDGBV), in conjunction with New Destiny Housing Corporation, developed HousingLink, an innovative rapid rehousing program to provide domestic violence survivors with a path to safe, affordable housing. This October, HousingLink placed its 100th survivor in a safe, high quality apartment.

“Safe, supportive housing is so important to survivors of gender-based violence,” said Cecile Noel, Commissioner, ENDGBV. “With domestic violence being a leading cause of homelessness in this country, this program demonstrates the power of collaboration and tailored services to provide survivors and their families with an alternative to shelter that helps them achieve safety and stability for themselves and their children. I look forward to continuing our partnership.”

HousingLink is located at each of New York City’s five borough Family Justice Centers (FJCs). The program partners with vetted landlords who can offer high-quality apartments and offers short-term financial assistance and aftercare that helps families placed in apartments to remain stable and safe. Most participating clients are survivors who are homeless, or at risk of becoming homeless.

Since the program’s launch in fall 2014, 97% of survivors placed by HousingLink have remained in stable housing. And, in recognition of the program’s success, New Destiny recently received the one million dollars in funding from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

“As the only program in New York City that connects survivors to safe permanent housing, HousingLink prevents homelessness and enables survivors and their children to find stability and begin to heal,” said Carol Corden, Executive Director of New Destiny. “Without HousingLink’s assistance, it is unlikely that program participants would have found affordable housing on their own.”

HousingLink is one of the many onsite programs that can be found at New York City’s FJCs. The FJCs are co‚Äźlocated multidisciplinary service centers providing vital social services, civil legal, and criminal justice assistance for survivors of domestic and gender-based violence and their children—all under one roof.  In addition to providing direct services and advocacy to survivors at the Centers, New Destiny partners with ENDGBV to provide ongoing training and technical assistance to onsite community-based partner staff at the City’s Family Justice Centers.  

“Access to a safe living environment is crucial for domestic violence survivors and their families rebuilding their lives,” said Department of Social Service Commissioner Steven Banks. “We at the Department of Social Services know firsthand how domestic violence can create and exacerbate housing instability—and we’re deeply committed to empowering survivors with the resources and services they need to overcome their challenges as they transition back into communities. This partnership with New Destiny Housing brings us closer to our common goal of assisting domestic violence survivors in this critical process.”

The Mayor's Office to End Domestic and Gender-Based Violence (ENDGBV) develops policies and programs, provides training and prevention education, conducts research and evaluations, performs community outreach, and operates the New York City Family Justice Centers. We collaborate with City agencies and community stakeholders to ensure access to inclusive services for survivors of domestic and gender-based violence (GBV). GBV can include intimate partner and family violence, elder abuse, sexual assault, stalking, and human trafficking.

New Destiny is a 25 year-old non-profit dedicated to ending the cycle of violence for low-income families and individuals at risk of homelessness and domestic violence by connecting them to safe, permanent housing and services. To achieve its mission, New Destiny builds and manages permanent housing with on-site services; offers innovative programs that empower victims of abuse to find and retain affordable housing; and expands access to permanent housing resources for low-income families.