Judge: NYC OK to end rent subsidy for ex-homeless

September 13, 2011 - 9:10 PM

NEW YORK (AP) — A judge has ruled that New York City can stop paying rent for more than 16,000 formerly homeless families after losing state backing for the program.

The ruling Tuesday found the city was within its rights to cancel the Advantage program.

The Legal Aid Society represented tenants and argued the program amounted to a contract. But the Manhattan judge disagreed, saying the assistance was a benefit.

An appeals court had ordered the city to keep paying the subsidies during the legal fight, and Legal Aid's chief attorney notes that the order is still in effect. The city homeless services commissioner also said officials will keep trying to move homeless families into housing.

The city told the families in March that the subsidies were stopping because of state budget cuts.