Thursday, March 24, 2011

Activism Works! TANF Funding Restored: Call Gov Cuomo to Restore the Work Advantage Program, Also

Cross-posted on my job's blog

Thanks to every one of you who called, visited your New York State Senator and Assembly member,  and took other actions to restore the TANF Funding to help Domestic Violence victims and others.  Although Governor Cuomo's budget proposed complete elimination of this program, your activism resulted in the New York State Senate and Assembly restoring the funding.  

However, the battle is not over.  Even though New York City is agreeing to back efforts to restore the Work Advantage Program (WAP), which helps Domestic Violence Victims obtain housing after leaving shelters, Governor Cuomo is still reluctant to restore funding. Please call his office at (518) 474-8390 and ask for restoration of funding for WAP.  Right now, calling him rather than other legislators is the best tactic.

Here are some talking points:

  • We need the State to fund Advantage for existing tenants to avoid mass evictions and homelessness 
  • We need the State to fund some form of Advantage for current shelter residents to provide a realistic re-housing option – an improved Advantage would include flexibility on time limits, and meaningful access to services and education among other reforms.  What we need is for folks in the City and State to come together to discuss the options and broker a compromise.  
  • We agree that the City should utilize federal resources for the homeless and make reforms to Advantage to make it work better and are asking them to do so 
  • Encourage support for a tax surcharge with an extra 1% for individuals making over $200,000 or families making over $300,000 with a bump to 2% for incomes over $500,000  

Overall message:  
Effective, stable permanent housing programs are more cost effective than prolonged shelter stays.  Eliminating funding for Advantage would have terrible consequences for tenants and landlords destabilizing communities and families.  It would cost enormous sums in shelter expenses, eviction costs, loss of rental income for landlords and more importantly would devastate families, creating long-term negative impact and cost.  

Please distribute widely.

Thank you!

N. Jerin Arifa
Project Speak Out Manager
New York Asian Women's Center (NYAWC)

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