NEWS, SECTION 8, UPCOMING EVENTS and SERVICES

APPLY FOR SECTION 8 RENT SUBSIDY NOW

Waitlist Now Open Thru May 28, 2021

The Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) Program, commonly known as Section 8, is a federal program designed to provide rental assistance to low-income families, the elderly, and the disabled to afford decent, safe, and sanitary housing in the private market.

The New York State Division of Homes and Community Renewal (DHCR) opened the Section 8 waiting list on May 17 thru May 28, 11:59 PM. Applications will not be accepted outside of this period. 

For information visit: https://hcr.ny.gov/section8. There is no cost to submit an application. DHCR will select 15,000 households for the waitlist through a lottery. Applying does not guarantee a voucher.

Applicants must be 18 or older. The income limits are set annually by HUD:  https://www.huduser.gov/portal/datasets/il/il20/Section8-IncomeLimits-FY20.pdf

Only on-line applications will be accepted. The application form is here: Section8.hcr.ny.gov

Households defined as Homeless or Elderly and/or Disabled (as defined by U.S. Housing and Urban Development department (HUD) or families with dependent children will have a preference. Applicants will be notified by email if selected and their position on the waiting list.

Information on other Section 8 waiting lists in New York are here: New York Section 8 Waiting Lists Open Now (affordablehousingonline.com)

You do not have to be a U.S. citizen to apply. For more information on the Section 8 voucher program, read the DC 37 blog. Please call the MELS Screening Unit at 212-815-1111 about application process. 

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GET HELP PAYING for CHILD CARE

The Child Care Facilitated Enrollment Project is a NYS funded pilot program that was developed to assist working parents to increase access to child care subsidies and quality care in New York City for children up to 13 years of age with qualifying incomes (up to $72,050 for a family of four). For more information, visit: https://www.cwenet.net/nysfe-1

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POLITICAL ACTION

Help Get Out The Vote! During this upcoming election, your voice can be powerful. Join our DC 37 Reach Beyond Program, our relational organizing program. Relational organizing is just your influence in your personal relationships, that helps you engage friends and family on current issues that affects everyone.

DC 37 will conduct weekly trainings that will equip you with the tools needed to help you track your conversations and allow you to share important information. 

Will you join us for an upcoming Wednesday evening training? Visit: https://www.mobilize.us/afscmedc37/event/388172/

There’s a lot at stake, our ability to talk to as many voters as possible depends on you to be successful during this election cycle.

We need your help!  We will provide you access to a free app on your phone that will allow you to text, call and share important information to your friends and family. 

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COVID-19 WORKERS’ COMP and SHORT-TERM DISABILITY BENEFITS

DC 37 urges members who believe they have contracted coronavirus in the line of duty to apply for New York State Workers’ Compensation. For a list of Workers’ Comp lawyers click here: https://bit.ly/3f1wK8z

Additionally, DC 37 Health & Security short-term disability benefits may be available for members who have filed Workers’ Comp claims. For more information click here: http://bit.ly/3ptCdt0

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FEMA COVID-19 BURIAL RELIEF

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) burial relief program is accepting applications. The maximum amount of financial aid available is $9,000 per funeral up to $35,500 per application with multiple COVID-19 decedents. FEMA federal funeral assistance can be used to help with expenses for funeral services held in 2020 for COVID-19 deaths, interment or cremation. Call the FEMA hotline: 844-684-6333 (TTY: 800-462-7585), 8 AM to 8 PM Central Time, Monday through Friday. For additional burial assistance programs, please visit: https://www1.nyc.gov/site/hra/help/burial-assistance.page.               

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MELS

MELS will host an ID Theft and Scams webinar on Wednesday, June 23, 2021 from 5:30 to 7 PM. Learn how to spot and respond to IRS scams, Social Security scams, Internet scams, and investment scams. Learn how to respond to identity theft discovered through banking and credit transactions or fraudulent unemployment claims. Learn about the three most popular credit report security devices, how they differ and how to use them for your advantage.

Register at www.DC37mels.com A link to join online or by phone will be forwarded in advance. Call MELS Screening at 212-815-1111 for more information. 

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EVICTION MORATORIUM UPDATE

On December 28, 2020, Governor Cuomo signed into law the COVID-19 Emergency Eviction and Foreclosure Prevention Act of 2020. The Act stayed residential eviction proceedings until May 1, 2021 where a tenant submits a completed Hardship Declaration.   

On May 4, 2021, Governor Cuomo signed the bill presented to him by state lawmakers andextended the eviction moratorium to August 31. Now, any tenant that previously served and filed a Hardship Declaration with the landlord and/or the Housing Court will be protected under the extended moratorium. Any tenant who has not served and/or filed a Hardship Declaration can do so at any time before August 31, to secure coverage under the Act.

The moratorium extension will allow time for the $2.4 billion COVID-19 EMERGENCY RENTAL ASSISTANCE PROGRAM [ERAP] OF 2021, enacted in last month’s state budget, to open and begin accepting applications for emergency rental assistance and/or utility assistance. The ERAP program is expected to open later this month on the Office of Temporary and Disability [OTADA] website. OTADA is currently building the platform it needs to process the high volume of applications expected statewide.

Please call the MELS Screening Unit at 212- 815-1111 for help with filling out and filing a hardship declaration. MELS will provide advice regarding how the moratorium works. MELS also assists with securing financial assistance to pay rent arrears or utility arrears that accrued during the pandemic. Lastly, MELS provides legal representation in Housing Court eviction proceedings. If you have received any notices or court papers from Housing Court, your landlord or your landlord’s attorneys, please contact MELS at 212- 815-1111, or email: MELSscreeningunit@dc37.net.

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UPDATE on STUDENT LOAN FORBEARANCE thru SEPT. 30

President Joe Biden extended the student loan payment forbearance created under the CARES Act through Sept. 30. Until that time, attempts to collect FFEL loans in default must cease and no further interest shall accrue. For FFEL borrowers who defaulted after March 13, 2020, the loans are to be returned to good standing. For more details, check the updated article on the DC 37 blog. Any member with questions about the status of their FFEL student loans can call the MELS Screening and Intake office at 212-815- 1111, or email: MELSscreeningunit@dc37.net.

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WORKWELL NYC EVENTS

Help for Substance Misuse: The WorkWell NYC new substance use educational website Just Five features video shorts that explore the risks and signs of substance misuse and ways to help someone who is struggling. Visit today to learn more: on.nyc.gov/justfive

Returning to the Office: Navigating the Transition: On Tuesday, May 27, at 12:00 p.m., you can join the discussion on returning to the office and learn of mental health resources to help employees during the transition.

Outdoor Fun with Fit Fest: WorkWell NYC is taking their most popular fitness classes outdoors with Fit Fest! Enjoy a workout with other City employees on Sunday, June 6, 9 AM to 12 noon.

Let’s Bring the Pressure Down: This 10-week hypertension program is designed to help you take action to prevent or control high blood pressure (HBP).

Register here for any or all of these WorkWell NYC events: on.nyc.gov/upcomingevents

#STOPASIANHATE The recent hate crimes against members of our Asian community are devastating. Over the last year, violence against the Asian American and Pacific Islander community has increased dramatically, especially against those who are most vulnerable. These acts of violence are rooted in ignorance and racism. WorkWell NYC and DC 37 condemn these acts and stands in solidarity with our Asian American colleagues and their families. Everyone deserves to live with dignity, without fear of working, walking, communing or thriving. We see you, we believe you, we support you. NYC prides itself on our diversity. We celebrate it each day and thrive on its enrichment to our daily lives. Hate has no home in our city. Together we can make that message louder than ever before.

5 THINGS YOU CAN DO TODAY

1. Speak up and speak out against hate, racism and violence. Use this guide to learn how to have conversations about racism. 

2. Report hate crimes here or by calling 212-416-0197

3. Seek support. Experiencing racism as a victim or as a bystander can be traumatic. The NYC EAP can help at eap@olr.nyc.gov. 

4. Build space for dialogue. WorkWell NYC can help coordinate conversations for small teams to discuss and process these events. Contact Anna Tan at anna.tan@olr.nyc.gov for more information.

5. Practice self-care. There are many ways to help nurture yourself as a daily restorative practice. Here is a self-care guide to get you started. For additional resources, please visit the Project BUILD resource center here.                           

Visit the Upcoming Events webpage to see a full list of WorkWell NYC events and programs to help you reach your life goals.      

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BENEFITS

PAID FAMILY LEAVE BENEFIT

The NYS Paid Family Leave benefit is 12 weeks. The maximum weekly paid benefit is $971.61 or $1,943 bi-weekly. This union negotiated New York State benefit is available to nearly all DC 37 members, including those in the six nonprofit and private sector locals. For more details please read the DC 37 blog. To access the 2021 PFL calculator, visit: http://on.ny.gov/2LsklQ8

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EDUCATION

AFSCME FREE 4-YEAR COLLEGE

The AFSCME free 4-year college program has been extended for good. This can be combined with the Free College program, under which AFSCME members and their immediate family can earn associate degrees for free. This means members of the AFSCME family can go to college for free from anywhere in the country. All they need is a computer and an internet connection. For more information visit: https://freecollege.afscme.org/

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DC 37 EDUCATION FUND

YOU CAN GET YOUR HIGH SCHOOL EQUIVALENCY DIPLOMA. LET THE ED FUND HELP!

Do you need your High School Equivalency Diploma? The test for the High School Equivalency Diploma is now called the TASC: The Test Assessing Secondary Completion. DC 37 is offering classes online during the summer through Hostos Community College. Additional classes will be online in the fall term. For more details, email ppunch@dc37.net

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Local 372 Members Working in School Food can earn an Associate Degree in Nutrition and Culinary Management through a partnership with LaGuardia Community College. For more information: email lpicano@dc37.net

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Local 372 Paraprofessionals can earn 18 credits annually towards a degree in Human Services through a partnership with Monroe College. A virtual Open House will be held on Tuesday, June 22, at 6 p.m. for those interested in entering college in the Fall 2021 term. To apply, please visit:www.dc37edfund.org/local372ctpfall2021. For more information, please email ppunch@dc37.net

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CUNY COUNSELING IS HERE FOR YOU!

This is the ideal time to plan for fall enrollment at the CUNY college of your choice. Let Worker Education at the CUNY School of Labor & Urban Studies (SLU) help guide you through the process of finding the best CUNY program to match your education and career goals. Expert advisors offer FREE one-on-one phone sessions on: academic requirements for specific jobs; choosing a CUNY campus and major; applying to and financing a CUNY degree; certificate and non-credit options at CUNY, transferring previous credits, and more. Each session is free and catered to your specific goals and needs. To view the calendar and schedule your CUNY advisement session visit: CUNYDays.eventbrite.com  Can’t find a date/time that works for you? Visit WorkerEd@slu.cuny.edu.

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EDUCATION FUND IS NOW ACCEPTING APPLICATIONS FOR SUMMER AND FALL 2021 CLASSES: The DC 37 Education Fund is now accepting applications for its Summer and Fall 2021 applications. For now, the majority of classes are being offered online. The Ed Fund offers computer, language, GED and labor education courses plus a lot more. For information, classes and schedules visit: www.dc37edfund.org/courses.

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DC 37 and CUNY EXPAND LABOR LEADERSHIP
SCHOLARSHIP PROGRAM

DC 37 and the CUNY School of Labor and Urban Studies (SLU) will fully fund a series of four Labor Leadership programs at both the undergraduate and graduate levels for 100 DC 37 members. Credits earned can be applied to SLU’s undergraduate and graduate certificates in labor relations, or can be applied to the School’s requirements for a bachelor’s degree in Urban Studies or the master’s degree in Labor Studies. The new scholarship program provides free tuition and is another example of DC 37’s commitment to the academic empowerment of its members.

Read more about this program on the DC 37 blog. For information and admission requirements: https://bit.ly/3oAXh10

Submit your application here: https://bit.ly/3fAsf5k

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