SECTION 8 TENANT BASED VOUCHERS - "HOUSING CHOICE VOUCHERS"
This program is administered by the Nassau County Office of Housing & Homeless Services. Tenant-based vouchers increase affordable housing choices for very low-income families ( i.e. families with income below 50% of area median income). Families with a tenant-based voucher choose and lease safe, decent, and affordable privately owned rental housing that meets HUD's Housing Quality Standards (HQS) and has a reasonable rent as compared to other units in the area.
FAMILY UNIFICATION Program was established for families for whom the lack of affordable housing is a primary factor in the separation or threat of separation of children from the family home. Family unification vouchers enable families to lease decent, safe and sanitary housing.
Families are eligible for these vouchers if they meet two conditions:
- The public child welfare agency has certified that it is a family for whom the lack of adequate housing is a primary factor in the imminent placement of the family's child, or children, in out-of-home care, or in the delay of discharge of a child, or children, to the family from out-of-home care; and
- The Housing Agency has determined the family is eligible for a housing choice voucher.
This is how Nassau County serves some of its residents through these two programs.
1. I have a problem with my landlord, can you help me?
The Office of Community Development does not address landlord-tenant disputes. We do make referrals to the Nassau/Suffolk Law Services Committee, Inc. which is located at One Helen Keller Way, in Hempstead, New York. The Nassau/Suffolk Law Services programs provide free legal and support services to income-eligible individuals with housing problems, including eviction proceedings and other landlord-tenant problems, Section 8 subsidy and public housing issues and foreclosures. For more information about these programs and services call 516-292-8100 or visit http://www.nslawservices.org/.
2. How can I get a license to be a contractor?
Except for asbestos abatement work, all construction work in New York is regulated at the local level. Contractors who perform remodeling on RESIDENTIAL homes in Nassau County must be licensed and insured. All licenses are issued for a period of two years unless suspended or revoked. Contractors in Nassau County must pay a fee of $400 for a 2 year license, plus a one-time fee of $50 into the restitution fund. Additionally, contractors must: 1) be able to prove that they are of good moral character and financial responsibility; 2) be able to prove that they are the real owners and possess title to the business; and 3) maintain an actual establishment at a definite location within New York State. Please note that working without a license is a Class A misdemeanor punishable by a fine of up to $5000 and/or 1 year in jail as well as seizure of vehicles and tools. Licenses may not be transferred or lent out. For more information, please contact the Nassau County Office of Consumer Affairs at 571-3871 to request that an application be sent to you or visit http://www.nassaucountyny.gov/agencies/oca/licensing/FAQ.html. See Nassau County Local Law 6-1970 for the complete law and all the rules and regulations.
3. Where can I get grants for seniors or people with disabilities?
Through a grant awarded by the New York State Housing Trust Fund Corporation, the Nassau County Office of Community Development makes funding available to physically challenged residents living in privately owned single-family homes or apartments to make their homes more accessible. Under this program also known as “Access to Home” or ABLE, eligible improvements might include ramps, wider doors for wheelchair access, chair lifts and bathrooms that are accessible.
The Nassau County Office of Senior Citizen Affairs also provides a wide-array of services. For more information about entitlement programs and financial assistance for seniors call 516-227-8900 or visit http://www.nassaucountyny.gov/agencies/Seniors/Entitlement/SocialSecurity.html .
The Nassau County Office for the Physically Challenged serves as the Disability Rights Advocacy agency for adults and children with disabilities for this County’s population of over 250,000. In doing so, it plays a leadership role in the provision of programs and services to enhance the independence and productivity of citizens with disabilities, in developing and advocating for legislation on the local, State, and Federal levels of government, and in working with the business community, health systems agencies, educational institutions of higher learning, school districts, transportation providers, cultural and arts centers, local municipalities, and private and non-profit disability and rehabilitation organizations to remove attitudinal and architectural barriers to consumerism, employment, education and independent living. For more information about the services available through the Office for the Physically Challenged call 516-227-7399 or visit http://www.nassaucountyny.gov/agencies/OPC/index.html.
The Nassau County Departments of Mental Health, Chemical Dependency and Developmental Disabilities Services promote the development of a comprehensive, and coordinated system of services that enables those with a mental illness, chemical addiction or developmental disability to maximize their functioning to live safely and successfully in the community. For more information about the services offered through this department call 516-227-7057 or visit http://www.nassaucountyny.gov/agencies/MentalHealth/index.html.
4. Can you help me buy a house or adjust my mortgage?
Nassau County Executive's Homeownership Center offers homeowners facing foreclosure, and in need of assistance, a newly established County hotline that will provide counseling services, including helping residents negotiate with lenders to avoid losing their homes. Foreclosures are on the rise throughout the region due in part to the proliferation of "sub prime" loans that were offered to home buyers. As interest rates on those loans rise, many homeowners have difficulty keeping up with payments and some face the loss of their property.
Nassau County, a HUD-approved housing counseling agency, will help to assess a homeowner's financial situation, determine what options are available, and help negotiate with our servicers. The counselors are familiar with the various workout arrangements that lenders will consider and will know what course of action makes the most sense for homeowners. In addition, the counselor can call the lender with homeowners or on behalf of a homeowner to discuss a workout plan. By meeting with a counselor before mortgage payments are too far behind, homeowners can protect themselves from future credit problems. Nassau County Homeownership Center also provides a comprehensive housing counseling program to first time homebuyers who wish to purchase a home in Nassau County. Counseling services include: Fair Housing Assistance- Home Equity Conversion Mortgage Counseling - Home Improvement and Rehabilitation Counseling - Homebuyer Education Programs- Loss Mitigation- Mobility and Relocation Counseling- Money Debt Management- Mortgage Delinquency and Default Resolution Counseling- Pre and Post purchase Counseling- Predatory Lending- Renters Assistance - Services for Homeless. For more information contact the Homeownership Center Hotline at 516-572-0858 or visit http://www.nassaucountyny.gov/agencies/EconomicDevelopment/homeownership.html.
5. Can you help me fix up my house?
As administrator of the Community Development Block Grant Program, Nassau County Office of Community Development in conjunction with participating municipal consortium members offers a residential rehabilitation program designed to assist income-eligible participants to renovate their homes. Participation is determined by number of household occupants and total household income. Residential rehabilitation activities focus on weatherization needs and assisting disabled individuals with home modifications. A primary goal of the program is to enable individuals to remain in the homes that they love in the communities in which they have settled. Community stabilization is encouraged by the implementation of an interest free 5-year recapture note on the home. For more information about this program please contact your local village, city or town hall or click. RES REHAB
6. Tell me more about the NSP program.
The Neighborhood Stabilization Program (NSP) was developed by HUD to implement a portion of H.R. 3221, the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008 which was signed into law on
July 30, 2008. NSP provides entitlement grants to state and local jurisdictions to purchase, rehabilitate, and resell foreclosed or abandoned homes to help stabilize neighborhoods that are significantly impacted by the housing crisis.
In 2009, Nassau County's Office of Community Development (NCOCD) received nearly $10 million in Neighborhood Stabilization Program funds, $7,767,916 from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development's (HUD) and $1,697,577 from the New York State Housing Finance Agency. Additionally, NCOCD was awarded $1,365,000 from the New York State Affordable Housing Corporation (AHC) to assist in the purchase of the NSP homes.
On September 8, 2010, Nassau County was pleased to announce a third round of funding for $2,100,000 in its efforts to reverse the effects of the foreclosure crisis.
To help reach this goal, NCOCD has partnered with nonprofit and for profit housing developers and remodelers to identify, purchase, rehabilitate and resell vacant foreclosed houses in Nassau County.
The location of all houses selected is governed by HUD and NYSHCR. In Nassau County, areas eligible under NSP I include specific census tracts in the following communities: Elmont, Freeport, Hempstead, Lakeview, New Cassel, Roosevelt, Uniondale and Westbury. Eligible areas under NSP III include specific census tracts in the following communities: Elmont, Freeport, Roosevelt, Uniondale, Baldwin & North Valley Stream.