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Gotham Gazette

The Place for New York Policy and politics

Citizens Union
 

Homelessness

Homelessness

  • mayorbilldeblasio dickens

    Mayor de Blasio (photo: Ed Reed/Mayoral Photography Office)


    In February at Mayor de Blasio's State of the City address, we heard plans to make New York City "the fairest big city in America." During his speech, the mayor talked about affordable housing, universal pre-K, and even global warming. But who was forgotten in his speech? The more than 64,000 homeless New Yorkers who face discrimination every day in their search for housing and stability.

    I am one of the 64,000 people living in a shelter in this "fair" city. I've been homeless

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  • meeting

    (photo via nycha/flickr)


    The supportive housing model recognizes the inherent dignity in all people. Low-income tenants and people with mental health conditions who were formerly homeless are offered an affordable apartment combined with voluntary supports and services that can help increase self-determination. As supportive housing grows in New York and the country, tenant engagement and empowerment are recognized as important factors in maintaining secure and thriving residences.

    Tenant advisory groups are a promising initiative taking hold in New

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  • bdb mayor tides

    Mayor de Basio (photo: Edwin J. Torres/Mayoral Photo Office)


    The city’s homelessness crisis has been a major challenge for Mayor Bill de Blasio since he took office in 2014. While the crisis was growing over the course of decades, key decisions were made just a few years before de Blasio became mayor that appear to have accelerated the trend, namely the elimination of city and state rental subsidy programs.

    When de Blasio became mayor, he set out to reinstitute rental subsidy programming, among other pieces of his homelessness and housing agendas, which

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  • mxm logo

    Ben Max, left, of Gotham Gazette, and Jarrett Murphy, right, of City Limits


    March 5, 2018 - Max & Murphy Podcast: De Blasio's Progress Fighting Homelessness, with Giselle Routhier of Coalition for the Homeless

    bdb homelessness 277

    Mayor de Blasio took office with a large and growing homelessness crisis that he promised to take head on. At the end of his first term about 10,000 more people

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  • 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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  • Cuomo State of the State podium

    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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  • hevesi albany photo mkink

    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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  • picture the homeless vacant lots

    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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  • tenant apartment de Blasio affordable

    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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  • de Blasio homelessness

    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 equality shaking hands crowd

    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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  • 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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  • 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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  • De Blasio speaking podium uptown

    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 Banks homelessness

    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 Banks McCray homeless shelter

    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 new homelessness plan

    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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  • de blasio mccray banks shelter

    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 ...

  • Corey Johnson hearing

    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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  • church prayer

    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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  • stringer 2

    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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  • 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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  • 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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  • homeless persons memorial

    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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  • Crowley Maspeth shelter

    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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