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Pathway to affordable housing created for Yonkers grandparents raising grandkids

More than 1,000 grandparents in Yonkers are raising grandchildren in what are known as 'kinship families.'

Nadia Galindo

May 20, 2022, 9:46 PM

Updated 787 days ago

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A new partnership in Yonkers is helping hundreds of families find the housing they need to raise their grandchildren. 
At just 56 years old, Felicia Medley, of Yonkers, is now raising 6 of her grandchildren.
"The love that I have for them was enough love to open up my home and allow them to stay regardless of whatever challenges we face," said Medley.
The Yonkers grandma is one of over 1,450 grandparents in the city raising grandchildren in what are known as 'kinship families.'
These families face many hardships including finding affordable housing.
Medley had to move out of her two-bedroom apartment to one with four bedrooms to accommodate her large family, which includes children in elementary school up to high school.
"That's more food, more light bill, more clothing more laundry," she said. "To do that on a salary that you had already, and your finances were accounted for it was strenuous."
Now, a new partnership is assisting kinship families like Medley's get affordable housing.
"We want to keep families together,” said Lakisha Collins, an attorney for Municipal Housing Authority for the City of Yonkers (MHACY). “Often times when the grandparent steps in there is no other option.”
Collins says through a partnership with Family Service Society of Yonkers or (FSSY) they are giving kinship families priority for affordable housing.

"They would have preference on our waiting list similar to what we offer to veterans and individuals who work or live in the city of Yonkers," said Collins.
FSSY is already working with 50 grandparents through its kinship support program. Ninety-percent of them are low income and 96% are single grandmas.
"Our program overall is about ensuring healthy families, healthy families that stay together," said Anietra Guzman, of Family Services Society of Yonkers.
Medley has already applied for this affordable housing so she can continue giving her grandkids a loving home.
Grandparents who would like to apply for affordable housing through the kindship support program can call 914-963-5118 or email info@fssy.org.


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