Brooklyn Boro

Velazquez, Schumer announce thousands of NYC housing tenants will be exempt from the HUD rule

November 15, 2016 From U.S. Sen. Chuck Schumer's Office
U.S. Sen. Chuck Schumer. AP Photo/Susan Walsh
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U.S. Rep. Nydia Velázquez and U.S. Sen. Chuck Schumer announced that after their push earlier this year, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) will be exempting New York City from the agency’s new Small Area Fair Market Rent (SAMFR) rule for Section 8 voucher holders. Under HUD’s original proposal, New York City housing experts estimated that rental assistance payments under the Section 8 program would decrease for more than 55,000 voucher holders across New York City. Under HUD’s revision of the rule, metropolitan areas with a vacancy rate of 4 percent or lower will be exempted, including New York City, which has a vacancy rate of 3.45 percent.   

“This plan was a terrible fit for New York City all along and I am pleased we worked with the secretary to find a solution,” Velázquez said. “More New Yorkers are going to be able to stay in their homes because of this exemption and that’s no small victory for working families in our city.”

“There’s no place like home, and today’s win will keep it that way for thousands of New Yorkers,” said Schumer. “Under HUD’s revised rule, thousands of working families can now breathe a sigh of a relief because New York City will be exempt from a rule that really made no sense here, a rule that could have raised rent costs and displaced people who loved their neighborhoods.

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“In a place like New York City, where the vacancy rate is below 4 percent, the outcome of the SAFMR rule could have been detrimental,” Schumer continued. “I am pleased that HUD heeded the call by going back to the drawing board and hammering out a new plan that works for our tenants, families and seniors, as well as the affordable housing community.”   

In August, Schumer and Velázquez led the New York City delegation in writing to the department calling for fixes to the new “market rate” system of distributing vouchers that the agency was developing. In their letter, the two argued that the plan would have a devastating outcome for New York City. 

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You can find the original letter online at

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