2024 – A.2583 / S.15

2024 – A.2583 / S.15

Position Statement – 2024

A.2583 / S.15

Differential Reimbursement for Single Domestic Violence Victim’s Shelter Occupancy
(“Heads in Beds”)


The Women’s Bar Association of the State of New York (“WBASNY”) supports A.2583/S.15 (“Heads in Beds”), legislation that will ensure domestic violence shelter providers who accommodate a single adult in a room designed for two individuals will receive a payment differential to preserve the existing per diem reimbursement rate.

The emergency domestic violence shelter system was configured for families, with most rooms designed to hold families of two, three, or more. Single adults seeking safety in a domestic violence shelter face significant obstacles in obtaining this emergency housing. The proposed legislation will require New York State to preserve the full reimbursement rate for providers who “downsize” a room configured for a family of two to accommodate a single adult individual. By removing the financial barrier for domestic violence shelter providers to house single adults, the bill provides greater access to the domestic violence shelter system for single adults who otherwise face considerable obstacles.

The lack of housing options makes it extremely difficult for a family fleeing domestic violence to obtain shelter; for single women, the burden is nearly insurmountable. One downstate county alone has only 39 emergency shelter beds for a population of just over one million. In 2022, over 1,500 individuals seeking emergency shelter in that county were unable to be placed due to lack of availability; single survivors formed a large percentage of those who were turned away. This problem exists to one degree or another in every single county in the state. Alternative housing options, including hotel rooms contracted by state agencies specifically for DV survivors, face similar financial restrictions and as a result, single adults are being turned away not because of lack of rooms, but because it is not economically feasible for the provider to provide shelter for these individuals.

Currently, single individuals seeking shelter from domestic violence are often turned away because emergency shelter options for single adults are so extremely limited. By allowing shelter providers greater flexibility to downsize a room meant for two people to accommodate a single adult without loss of revenue, facilities will have increased capacity to shelter single adults fleeing violence and abuse. Passage of this bill will make a life-changing difference for single adult survivors seeking safety and refuge.