New York City Leaders Must Fund the ENDGBV Microgrant Program at $6 Million

June 27, 2023

Domestic violence is the leading cause of family homelessness in New York City;1 Investing $6 million in the microgrant program will prevent homelessness and shelter recidivism among survivors for a fraction of the cost of shelter and re-housing efforts.

We are grateful to the New York City Council for its advocacy in ensuring that the Mayor’s Office to End Domestic and Gender-Based Violence (ENDGBV) microgrant program is funded. The Mayor’s preliminary budget included a meager investment of $1.2 million for the microgrant program, which is not nearly enough to meet the need. We thank the Council for proposing a $3 million increase in their budget response, for a total allocation of $4.2 million. However, this still falls short of the $6 million necessary to fully fund the program its first year.

For too long, domestic violence has been the number one cause of family homelessness in New York City.2 If adequately funded at $6 million, the ENDGBV microgrant program will help thousands of survivors remain safely housed, out of the shelter system, and free from abuse. Established by Local Law 112 of 2022 (formerly Intro 153-A of 2022), the housing stability program, also known as microgrant program, will provide domestic and gender-based violence survivors with low-barrier grants and supportive services. This flexible funding may be used to cover a wide range of expenses, such as moving costs, furniture, and childcare

This new initiative builds on a privately funded microgrant pilot overseen by ENDGBV and administered by Sanctuary for Families in 2020. This first-of-its-kind program demonstrated that flexible funding can significantly improve survivors’ financial situation, help them remain housed, and foster financial stability. It also documented the high demand for low-barrier financial support among survivors of domestic and gender-based violence in New York City.3 The $500,000 in funding was quickly depleted, forcing the program to cease accepting applications in less than 2 months. ENDGBV also capped the maximum grant amount at $1,500 to ensure the program could reach a larger number of survivors, which pushed the average grant size down. Of the 693 survivors who successfully applied during the small window of time, only 377 received an average grant of $1,243.37.

Based on existing, but limited, federal service funding from the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development, it is estimated that the average microgrant amount requested will be about $2,000. At a $2,000 average, the Mayor’s proposal of $1.2 million would only reach 600 survivor-led households. This would not be enough to assist even a fraction of the total number of survivors who seek services at the New York City Family Justice Centers (FJCs). In 2022, 15,906 survivors visited the FJCs and about 10% of them, or 1,543 survivors, utilized the Centers’ housing services.4

Assuming a 15% set aside for administrative costs, we can project that a $6 million allocation would enable the city to meet the need by using the following formula:

Average microgrant amount x [# of survivors who utilized housing services at FJCs in 2022 + # of households in the city’s domestic violence shelter system in 2022] x 45% utilization rate

A $6 million allocation, minus the 15% administrative set aside, would leave $5.1 million available for microgrants, which would benefit 2,550 survivor-led households at an average of $2,000.

Average microgrant amount $2,000
# of survivors who utilized housing services at FJCs in 2022 1,543
#of households in the city’s domestic violence shelter system in 20225 4,137
Estimated utilization – 45% (considering the program’s income eligibility cap of 300% of federal poverty line and estimated need) 45%
Estimate $5,068,8000


For many survivors, one small expense stands in the way of their ability to find safety. For too many, an immediate, but otherwise manageable, financial or health crisis can quickly snowball into a catastrophe, leading to homelessness. The ENDGBV microgrant initiative has the potential to be a lifesaver for survivors, especially for non-citizen New Yorkers; help bridge the gap for existing federally funded initiatives that do not cover essential items; and prevent homelessness and shelter recidivism for a fraction of the cost of shelter and re-housing efforts.

We urge our city leaders to allocate $6 million to fully fund this vital program.

New Destiny Housing
Safe Horizon
Sanctuary for Families
Urban Resource Institute
Volunteers of America-Greater New York


1 New York City Department of Social Services. (2022). Reasons for Eligibility for Families with Children for Department of Homeless Services Shelter (Overcrowding was the second-leading cause, accounting for 23%, while evictions, formal and informal, accounted for 11%)
2 Silkowski, A. (2019). Housing Survivors: How New York City Can Increase Housing Stability for Survivors of Domestic Violence. New York City Comptroller Scott M. Stringer. Retrieved from
3 Holmes, K. (2021). Evaluation Summary Report: Emergency Financial Relief Microgrants Program for Survivors of Domestic and Gender-Based Violence. Retrieved from
4 NYC Mayor’s Office to End Domestic and Gender-Based Violence. 2022 Annual report on Domestic Violence Initiatives, Indicators and Factors. Retrieved from
5 NYC Department of Social Services (2023). 2022 Annual Report on Exits from NYC Domestic Violence Shelters

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