MAYOR MICHAEL R. BLOOMBERG ANNOUNCES HOUSING INITIATIVES TO AID VICTIMS OF DOMESTIC VIOLENCE

(PRWEB) December 6, 2003

October 22, 2003 Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg announced several measures to increase the safety of victims of domestic violence by streamlining access to public housing and subsidized. New initiatives to use technology level and the coordinated efforts of agencies of the City to more safe housing more readily available for all victims of domestic violence. Office of the Mayor? S the fight against domestic violence Yolanda B. Jimenez and chairman of the New York City Housing Authority Tino Hernandez joined the Mayor for the announcement at the 2003 Conference against domestic violence. The conference, sponsored by the mayor? S Office, was held at Pace University.

? Since the beginning of this administration, we were committed to doing whatever it takes to protect victims of domestic violence? said Mayor Bloomberg. ? Nothing is more important than a safe place to live, but a complex system can sometimes make it difficult for victims to get the housing they need and deserve. Our new domestic violence initiatives will streamline the system and make it more user friendly for those who need it most.

The new initiatives are a direct result of the work of national response teams violence (DVRT), a pilot program announced by the Mayor in May 2002. Composed of representatives from City agencies and community organizations, teams work exclusively in DVRT two speakers with a high rate of domestic violence to monitor service delivery to victims and children who are most at risk. During the first year, the team learned that finding a suitable housing is one of the most complex and stressful to confront the victims of domestic violence. The problem is pervasive, with approximately 93% of families DVRT requested assistance for housing. Navigate a complicated system of shelters and housing agencies managed by the City and the state of several can often be overwhelming. In addition, research has shown that victims are at increased risk of harm when they leave violent relationships and are more likely to be murdered at that time than any other.

? Listening to the victims, we have learned what they need, and we work hard to meet these needs? Jimenez said the Commissioner. ? Victims of domestic violence will now have easier access to housing, which may be the way to safety.

? Consistent with our longstanding commitment in this area, NYCHA will continue to work proactively to improve opportunities for public housing for victims of domestic violence? Hernandez said the president.

Building on lessons learned from the DVRT program, new initiatives will streamline the application process for housing and make it easier for victims of domestic violence for emergency shelter and permanent housing:

The City will provide more beds for the transition between emergency and permanent housing. At the end of this year, the number of longer stays transitional units will be increased by 11%, the first increase since 2001.

? More housing options are available to victims who are current or potential New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) tenants by allowing them to seek shelter within their home district. In the past, victims of domestic violence seeking to relocate within the system of public housing, or move to a NYCHA housing for the first time were required to pass an entirely different district for security reasons. This restriction was removed. Victims will now be able to get new apartments in their home districts as long as they are at a safe distance? in a different set of zip codes? their former residences.

? Applications for public housing and Section 8 housing vouchers will be accelerated by NYCHA? The use of a base-line s to lead the federal government mandated critical criminal background of applicants for eligibility. The old system was time consuming and posed a special challenge for victims who have limited time in which to find housing.

? The victims will be assigned a personal identification number to enable them to know the status of their requests for NYCHA housing over the phone. Previously, without the PIN process, victims of domestic violence were necessary to go to the housing office in person, usually with children in tow, to check the status of their requests. The new system will enable victims to access this information securely and without delay.

? Victims who are seriously injured as a result of a serious crime will now be considered a priority by NYCHA. Previously, such an examination was given that if there were two separate incidents involving domestic violence documented.

Administration HR 1832 currently provides domestic violence emergency shelter beds and 155 units of transitional housing domestic violence. Last year alone, HRA has provided shelter for more than 7,000 victims, of which two thirds are children. The new initiatives will be effective by the end of this year. Across town? S efforts, family-related homicides are down 23.3%, and the combined assaults of rape, murder and crime is down 11.5% since this time last year.



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