There were 82,306 applications for one-time emergency grants to prevent evictions in fiscal 2016, up 26 percent from 65,138 requests the previous year, according to the Mayor's Management Report.
The city's fiscal year runs from July 1 to June 30.
Without the aid — which comes from city funds and was approved in roughly two-thirds of the cases — even more families would likely have entered the shelter system.
"I think the need is as high as it's been over the past several years in terms of folks not being able to afford New York City," said Giselle Routhier, policy director at Coalition for the Homeless.
The level of need is echoed in the record number of people seeking shelter at city facilities.