The Special One-Time Assistance Program (SOTA)

NYC Exclusive Apartments – Your Trusted Partner in New York City Real Estate
Tuesday, June 6, 2023 5:45 PM | NYC Exclusive Apartments

The Special One-Time Assistance Program – Voucher Series – SOTA

The Special One-Time Assistance Program (“SOTA”) is administered by the New York City Department of Homeless Services (“DHS”). SOTA clients are members of a household with recurring income from employment, Supplemental Security Income (“SSI”) or Social Security Disability (“SSD”) benefits, but have spent time in homeless shelters. A SOTA client’s rent may not exceed 40% of the household’s current or projected income. Eligible DHS clients may choose to move within New York City, to other New York State counties, another state, Puerto Rico, or Washington, D.C.

SOTA differs from some of the other voucher programs because it is only provided to households whom the Department of Social Services has determined will likely have the future ability to pay rent once they no longer have the SOTA grant to cover their rent. The clients must be able to show that they have recurring income from employment, SSI or SSD benefits. Furthermore, if the clients are moving within New York City they must not be eligible for any other federal, state or city subsidies or voucher programs. To receive a SOTA voucher, a family with children must have been in a shelter for at least 90 days. Single adults or adult families must have spent 90 days over the last 365 days in a shelter in order to be eligible for a SOTA voucher. DHS clients are only eligible for this rental assistance one time.

SOTA allows clients to select housing of their choice. In some New York and New Jersey counties, the selected building and apartment must meet an acceptable level of health and safety standards before SOTA will approve the lease package submitted by the voucher client and/or their real estate broker. DHS or provider staff will conduct walkthroughs utilizing a comprehensive apartment review checklist.

SOTA offers a security deposit voucher in lieu of a cash security deposit. The real estate broker cannot have any ownership interest in the property that is being rented by the SOTA client and the owner of the property cannot receive any part of the real estate broker’s fee directly or indirectly from the real estate broker.

Important Tip:

SOTA has already financially vetted the SOTA client and has determined that the client is capable of paying the percentage of the rent attributed to them. Therefore, a SOTA client cannot be held to the same standards (i.e. making 40x – 50x the rent) as may be required of a non-voucher tenant.

We hope you found this information helpful. If you have any other questions or need more details, feel free to contact us.

more insightful blog articles

Sydney Harewood.Lrsp, LEVEL. 5 West 37th Street | New York, NY 10018 | Tel: 646-535-3819

Leave a Reply

click to see full picture
Sydney Harewood
Licensed Real Estate Salesperson
New York City
We are LEVEL
click to see full picture