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Homelessness

Homelessness

  • Dr. King Wanted Housing Justice That Governor Cuomo Must Deliver

    Andrew Cuomo NAN Al Sharpton

    Gov. Cuomo receives an award, 2016 (photo: Kevin P. Coughlin/Governor's Office)


    Governor Cuomo recently gave his 2018 State of the State address. Like years past, he highlighted his accomplishments and reminded New York of the “historic commitments” he’s made to solve our most pressing issues. High among those issues was -- and remains -- homelessness. He called on our “compassionate society” to care for the homeless and, discussing criminal justice reform, invoked the late Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., quoting, “Justice too long delayed is

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  • New York City Takeaways from Governor Cuomo's 2018 State of the State

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    Gov. Cuomo delivers his 2018 State of the State (photo: Philip Kamrass/Governor's Office)


    Governor Andrew Cuomo unveiled his full policy agenda for the 2018 legislative session on Wednesday, returning to his traditional State of the State format: a single address at the Empire State Convention Center, chock full of slideshow-aided proposals and lofty rhetoric, with legislative leaders of all five conferences and other statewide elected officials accompanying him on stage.

    During the 92-minute speech, Cuomo gave

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  • Renewed Push to Pass State Homelessness Subsidy in 2018

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    Assemblymember Hevesi and activists (photo: @mkink)


    Legislation to create a statewide rental supplement to curtail the growth of homelessness in New York, while generating savings for local social service agencies, is the focus of a renewed campaign ahead of the 2018 budget and legislative session.

    Despite support from the Democratic Assembly majority, as well minority state Senate Democrats, and the Independent Democratic Conference, which forms a ruling coalition with Senate Republicans, Assemblymember Andrew Hevesi’s Home Stability

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  • Federal Tax Reform Could Turn City’s Housing Crisis into a Humanitarian Disaster

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    protesting unused vacant property (via @pthny)


    In New York City, the demand for affordable housing far exceeds supply. Seventy percent of the city’s homeless shelter residents are families. Families who should be in homes.

    Now, as the United States House of Representatives and Senate look to

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  • Enhancing City Efforts to Move Individuals from Homelessness to Homes

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    new tenants (photo via Ed Reed/Mayor's Office)


    Amid this National Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week, as organizations across the country bring attention to the issues of hunger and homelessness, it’s important to also bring attention to and advocate for thoughtful policy solutions that address the gaps in our current efforts. On homelessness, it is essential that we provide landlords and formerly homeless tenants the support they need to both encourage

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  • City Increasingly Paying Back Rent to Keep Tenants from Homelessness

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    De Blasio discusses homelessness (photo: Edwin J. Torres/Mayor's Office)


    In the effort to fight a steady, decades-long rise in homelessness, the de Blasio administration has significantly increased the city’s rental assistance programs over the past four years. A variety of programs including vouchers for those seeking to reenter stable housing from shelter, the effort also entails paying back rent for those at risk of losing their apartments.

    Known as “rent arrears” payments, the de Blasio administration has dedicated

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  • De Blasio's Record on Poverty and Inequality

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    Mayor de Blasio at an announcement (photo: Ed Reed/Mayor's Office)


    This article is part of a series on Mayor de Blasio's first term record as he seeks reelection this fall, in partnership with WNYC radio and City Limits. Find all pieces of the series here.

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  • ‘Fair Share’ Reform – An Essential Step to Solving the City’s Homelessness Crisis

    Carlina Rivera

    Carlina Rivera, the author (photo: Samar Khurshid/Gotham Gazette)


    Repairing the subways, closing Rikers, rescuing failing schools – it can seem like New York’s most insurmountable crises are always being dealt with by cutting corners and taking the path of least resistance. This isn’t how it’s always been in our city. When the city passed the historic Fair Share Criteria in 1989, officials finally said enough to the inequitable distribution of city facilities and called for investment in a long-term plan for facility siting in the future.

    These rules were supposed to

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  • Did Street Homelessness in New York City Really Just Increase by Nearly 40%?

    de Blasio walking snow

    (photo: Edwin J. Torres/Mayor's Office)


    Is the number of people homeless on New York City streets skyrocketing?

    There were 3,892 unsheltered homeless people on the streets or outside in public places on the cold night this past February when New York City conducted its annual street homelessness count, according to the City’s own statistics released this month. That’s a jolting 39-plus percent increase in one year over the 2016 street homelessness count of 2,794.

    The good news is that many advocates and academics don’t

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  • Mayor De Blasio Let Me Down

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    Mayor de Blasio (photo: Ed Reed/Mayor's Office)


    In 2013 I met then-Mayoral candidate Bill de Blasio at a campaign event in midtown. I talked with him about my housing situation, that I had been laid off at work and the rent for my apartment had become too expensive. He said if he was elected, he would do what he could to help people like me. I voted for him.

    Soon after our conversation, I lost my apartment. Three years later, I am still homeless. The promises de Blasio made to me seem far away, and now, I’m not sure he is still

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  • De Blasio and Homelessness: A New Progressive Mayor Wrestles with an Old Social Problem

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    Mayor de Blasio & Commissioner Banks (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayor's Office)


    This is part one of a three-part series.

    Part One: The Challenge of Homeless Policy
    During the course of his overwhelmingly successful campaign for mayor, Bill de Blasio made poverty and income inequality his main issues. As the liberal journalist and fervent de Blasio supporter Eric Alterman put the matter, “De Blasio made economic inequality the central issue in his campaign and attempted to tie nearly

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  • De Blasio Wrestles with Homelessness -- Part Two: Setbacks and Responses

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    Mayor de Blasio & aides visit a shelter (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayor's Office)


    This is part two of a three-part series, De Blasio and Homelessness: A New Progressive Mayor Wrestles with an Old Social Problem, by Peter Nasaw and Thomas J. Main. [Jump to Part One: The Challenge of Homeless Policy]

    Part Two: Setbacks and

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  • De Blasio Wrestles with Homelessness -- Part Three: Can de Blasio Turn the Tide?

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    Mayor de Blasio (photo: Edwin J. Torres/Mayor's Office)


    This is part three of a three-part series: De Blasio and Homelessness: A New Progressive Mayor Wrestles with an Old Social Problem, by Peter Nasaw and Thomas J. Main. [Jump to Part One: The Challenge of Homeless Policy or

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  • A Smart Move for Homeless Families, Neighborhood Residents and City Taxpayers

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    Mayor de Blasio visits Bellevue Men's Shelter (photo: Michael Appleton)


    Residents of Manhattan’s Kips Bay neighborhood have been plagued in recent years by crimes attributed to clients of the 800 bed men’s shelter on East 30th Street and First Avenue.

    Shelter clients have reportedly defecated in front of buildings, publicly ...

  • 10 Key Data Points from Social Services Budget Hearing

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    City Council Member Corey Johnson (photo: William Alatriste)


    The City Council General Welfare Committee conducted a budget hearing Monday to evaluate the programs, expenditures, and needs of the Human Resource Administration (HRA) and Department of Homeless Services (DHS). Steven Banks, Commissioner of the Department of Social Services (DSS), which oversees both HRA and DHS, provided testimony for the two agencies before taking questions from concerned Council members.

    Though HRA provides a wide variety of services -- including job training

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  • 95 Faith Leaders Join Push for Passage of State Rent Subsidy Proposal

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    Prayer at Cavalry Baptist Church (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayor's Office)


    As New York City battles a homelessness crisis, with 60,000 people in shelters, a statewide proposal to drastically reduce and prevent homelessness is gaining groundswell support. On Monday, dozens of faith leaders from across the state signed a letter to Governor Andrew Cuomo, calling his attention to that plan, the Home Stability Support program.

    The HSS proposal, sponsored by Democratic Assembly Member Andrew Hevesi of Queens, would

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  • Comptroller Criticizes Mayor for 'Out Of Control' Homelessness Spending, Limited Agency Savings

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    Comptroller Scott Stringer presents his budget analysis (photo: Samar Khurshid/Gotham Gazette)


    Comptroller Scott Stringer blasted aspects of Mayor Bill de Blasio’s preliminary budget for fiscal year 2018 on Wednesday, taking issue with the mayor’s homelessness strategy and what Stringer described as a dearth of savings for city agencies.

    Speaking to reporters at his offices on 1 Center Street, the comptroller said the city’s economy continues to be strong but warned of the challenges from an economic slowdown after years of sustained growth, the effects of which

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  • The Time Is Now to Increase City Human Services Contracts

    Urban Pathways rally outside city hall

    Urban Pathways members rally outside City Hall (photo via Urban Pathways)


    In May 2015, my fellow Urban Pathways Board Member Gary Belsky rightfully recognized Mayor Bill de Blasio’s fiscal year 2016 budget investment in the human services nonprofit workforce. The investment -- a 2.5 percent cost of living adjustment and an $11.50-per-hour wage floor, coupled with a subsequent City-funded

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  • The Fight Ahead for Our City’s Homeless Children

    kids circle doe

    (photo: @NYCschools)


    As families across the city gather in their homes to celebrate the holidays, a record number of children -- more than 23,000 -- are currently living in homeless shelters in New York City.

    Homelessness means much more than lacking a permanent place to lay your head every night, especially for children. The impacts of homelessness on young people are particularly devastating and go well beyond housing issues into health and education.

    Recent local media coverage has chronicled the record high numbers of homeless students in schools throughout

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  • Observing Homeless Persons’ Memorial Day & Committing To End It

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    2015 Homeless Persons’ Memorial (photo: Care for the Homeless)


    Today, Wednesday December 21, advocacy and social justice organizations in cities across the country gather together to observe Homeless Persons’ Memorial Day. This annual remembrance is held on winter solstice. It’s fitting this solemn occasion is scheduled for the longest, darkest night of the year, because each night without housing is long, dark and cold.

    In New York City, where the number of people experiencing homelessness is at its all-time high, there will be several observances. The NYC

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  • Opposing Shelters Won’t End the Housing Crisis

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    Council Member Crowley opposes a shelter in Maspeth (photo via Twitter)


    On Wednesday night I attended my community board meeting on a proposed homeless shelter in Maspeth, Queens. The city Commissioner of Social Services, Steve Banks, was there, along with hundreds of residents who are against the shelter. I was one of just a handful of homeless and housing rights advocates in the audience.

    Though I was horrified by the residents who chose to

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  • Does the State have the Conviction and Commitment to End Homelessness?

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    Affordable Housing in East Harlem (Sophie Hecht)


    The week of June 26, over 70 San Francisco media outlets came together to report on homelessness in the Bay Area. The collaboration, the San Francisco Homeless Project, produced over 300 local articles, videos, and radio and television segments, as well as similar collaborations in cities across the U.S. and internationally.

    Within this much deserved media coverage is the sentiment of a former San Francisco mayor, which may describe what ails our approach to the homelessness crisis here in New York State.

    The San Francisco

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  • Mixed Bag in Latest Government Efforts Fighting Homelessness, Providers Say

    coalition for the homeless protest


    On Thursday, June 23, the two leaders of Coalition for the Homeless, Mary Brosnahan and Shelly Nortz, talked with Ben Max of Gotham Gazette and Jarrett Murphy of City Limits about where things stand in terms of city and state efforts to curb homelessness. The discussion centered around the recent end of legislative session in Albany and the fate of nearly $2 billion in state money dedicated, but not released, for homelessness prevention and affordable housing. City efforts to improve homelessness prevention, shelter conditions,

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  • For More Progress in Homeless Services, Continue to Consult the Experts

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    Homelessness policy announcement (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayor's Office)


    On April 11, the de Blasio administration announced the results of its 90-day review of homeless services. The review’s inclusive and collaborative process is impressive. The city consulted numerous stakeholders, including two groups too often ignored: clients, specifically homeless individuals in shelters and on the streets;

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  • Push for a Better Mayor's Management Report Continues

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    The City Council’s Committee on Governmental Operations held an oversight hearing on Wednesday to evaluate the structure and content of two annual city reports that measure everything from the wait times on 311 calls and the conditions of city parks to the number of unsheltered homeless people and traffic crashes in the city each year. These key performance indicators help the City Council and the public keep city agencies and offices accountable. Those agencies, in turn, rely on these reports to improve their policies and functioning.

    The administration

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