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Bronx program that helps senior citizens avoid eviction hopes City Council re-invests

Bronx program that helps seniors avoid eviction hopes City Council re-invests
Bronx program that helps seniors avoid eviction hopes City Council re-invests 02:10

NEW YORK - A program that helps senior citizens avoid eviction and navigate the housing court system says they didn't receive critical funding from the City Council to keep their program alive.

But as CBS New York started asking questions, it turns out the program might still have a lifeline after all. 

"I had surgery -- back, hips and all that stuff," said senior citizen Bruce Hicks, who's lived in his apartment in West Concourse for nearly 21 years. "Almost two months, I was behind in rent."

The handicap resident has faced obstacles when it comes to paying rent because of mounting medical bills and having a fixed income.

"I would've been evicted, probably evicted most likely," said Hicks.

"I had a problem, I could've lost this place," said Robert, a senior citizen who lives in Co-Op City. 

Robert and Hicks managed to stay afloat because of a program through BronxWorks called Senior Homelessness Prevention Project.

"The program basically handholds the senior through the whole eviction process. We get them the funds that they owe to make sure they stay stably housed and then we get them any benefits as well," said Program Director Amanda Brown.

BronxWorks reached out to CBS New York for help when they found out their annual $200,000 funding from the City Council didn't make this year's cut.

"A lot of these seniors that were receiving assistance, we want to be able to continue helping them," said Brown.

BronxWorks says since the City Council started funding them back in 2015, they've been able to help over 1,300 people and they've secured $4.3 million to help their clients pay their rents back.

In an email to CBS New York News, the City Council said BronxWorks did not submit the required paperwork to receive the funding, but it is still possible to get the allocation.

BronxWorks tells us they submitted all paperwork on time, but thanks CBS New York for making them aware of the issue.

"They're our grandparents, these are family members that we know of. They're not really down hard, it's just they don't have enough money half the time to keep up with their rent," said Brown.

You can email Shosh with Bronx story ideas by CLICKING HERE

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