If you currently reside in a homeless shelter, you may be eligible to have the Human Resources Administration (HRA) pay the fees for your furniture and belongings held in a storage unit.
HRA will pay your storage fees if you are relocating, evicted, or in temporary shelter, which includes residence at a homeless shelter, hotel, or motel.
To be eligible to receive a storage fees payment, you must meet the following criteria:
If you are eligible, HRA must pay for space for you to store your belongings. You can only store furniture that you need for a standard home and a reasonable number of personal belongings. You will be asked to complete a Storage Inventory Sheet at the time of your first application. It is important to make sure your belongings will fit into the size of the storage unit allowed by HRA. HRA limits the storage space based on your household size (see the chart below).
If you do not think your belongings will fit into the allowed space, you can request and complete the One-Time Approval of Storage Fees Grant for Storage Space Exceeding Limit Form online at HRA’s site.
To be approved for a larger space, you will need to explain why you require more space and if your belongings are being auctioned.
HRA will only pay to store furniture and belongings that you owned at the time you asked HRA to help pay your storage. HRA will not pay for a larger storage space if you obtain additional items later.
You can apply online at ACCESS HRA. If you need technical help to use ACCESS HRA or have any other questions, you can call 311 to ask HRA to assist you. If you are applying as Home Visit Needed/Homebound, you can ask for a Reasonable Accommodation (and a phone application) if you call the HRA Office of Constituent Affairs at 212-331-4640.
To be eligible, you must qualify for CA, EA, or SSI benefits. Before you apply, you must also find one storage unit that is the right size for your household. The chart above shows how big your storage unit can be, depending on your family size. You should also choose a unit that costs no more than the maximum amount listed in the chart above for your family size.
If your belongings are already in storage, HRA may not approve your request for storage payments. However, in emergency situations (if your belongings were placed in storage because you had to quickly move, were evicted or are in temporary housing), HRA will pay to help you collect these belongings and/or prevent them from being auctioned. For these cases, HRA will make a one-time payment, which you can receive by filling out the One-Time Approval of Storage Fees Grant for Storage Space Exceeding Limit Form.
After the emergency payment is processed, you may continue to apply for payment for the original storage unit as long as your space meets HRA’s size guidelines. If your space does not, you must move into a new space within the approved guidelines so that HRA will continue making storage payments for you.
Storage fees will be paid by HRA directly to the storage company. You will need to re-apply for payment from HRA every month at ACCESS HRA, unless you live in a shelter. If you live in a DHS or HRA shelter (including domestic violence shelter), HRA will automatically pay your storage fees so you don’t have to reapply every month.
If you do not reside in a DHS/HRA shelter, you must apply to HRA every month to receive a storage payment. If you receive Cash Assistance, you can apply again online at ACCESS HRA. You can also request a paper form by calling the HRA Infoline at 718-557-1399, or you can print a form out from the HRA website. You can mail this form to an open HRA Job Center in your borough.
Once you move into permanent housing, HRA will not pay your storage fees. However, they may provide a furniture allowance to help you buy furniture for your new home, as long as you don’t already have furniture in your storage unit. You can apply for this allowance on ACCESS HRA. To make sure you receive a furniture allowance, you should send HRA photos of your unit in your online application.
If your fees are not approved, you can request a conference with HRA through their Infoline at 718-557-1399. If you disagree with HRA’s decision at the conference, you can request a Fair Hearing by calling 800-205-0110.
If you need help or have questions about a storage issue, you can also call The Legal Aid Society’s Access to Benefits helpline at 888-663-6880. Please ask to be referred to the Benefits Unit.
This resource is also available in Spanish.
The information in this document has been prepared by The Legal Aid Society for informational purposes only and is not legal advice. This information is not intended to create, and receipt of it does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship. You should not act upon any information without retaining professional legal counsel.
Last Updated: 18 November 2020
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