Gotham Gazette

The Place for New York Policy and politics

 

Homelessness

Homelessness

  • unbranded hra

    (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayor's Office)


    It was early evening on a street corner on the Upper West Side. A young woman rushed up to me and asked for money so she could buy some dinner.  She was flushed, out of breath, and pregnant. Stories like this are a frequent occurrence for any New Yorker who walks the streets and takes the subways.  

    This young woman said she’d had a fight with her boyfriend and he’d kicked her out of their apartment. She had just been placed in a shelter and didn’t have supplies or food. Despite my desire, knowledge and

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    (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayor's Office)


    The city’s homelessness crisis is well-documented and deeply troubling, including far too many people sleeping on the streets and in the subways. If it seems like there are more and more people in those situations, it is because there are: the estimated number jumped 23% from 2018 to 2019, based on the one-night winter HOPE Count, to about 3,500 in total.

    The city’s efforts to reduce the street population have mostly failed. Nothing emphasizes this failure more than the recent murder of four

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  • may townhall residents

    (photo: Ed Reed/Mayoral Photo Office)


    As Mayor Bill de Blasio enters his seventh year in office, on the heels of a failed presidential bid and at a time when his political clout appears at its nadir, he faces many major challenges and big decisions ahead.

    2020, the next-to-last year of his second and final term, begins with a focus on public safety, including recent spikes in anti-Semitic hate crimes, murders, and byciclist fatalities, as well as how the city is adjusting to new state-mandated bail reforms that the mayor has

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  • chris quinn cm annoace

    Christine Quinn (photo: William Alatriste/City Council)


    Christine Quinn is frustrated. Quinn, formerly the Speaker of the New York City Council and currently the CEO of Win, a nonprofit that is the largest provider of shelter and permanent supportive housing to families in New York, believes much more can be done to support homeless New Yorkers.

    The city continues to grapple with an immense homelessness crisis, with more than 60,000 people in city shelters each night, roughly 3,000 people living on the streets or in the subways, and several

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  • mbdb flcm mayor

    (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayor's Office)


    Last week the City of Newark sued New York City over New York’s placement of more than a thousand homeless individuals and families in Newark, through the city’s Special One Time Assistance (SOTA) program. Under the program, New York City employed private brokers to find homes for the families in New Jersey and elsewhere, and, without checking to see if the homes were habitable, paid a full year’s rent in advance and left families to live there. The result was thousands of families sent out of the city into homes that were

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  • city council cm raf salamanca

    Council Member Salamanca (photo: John McCarten/City Council)


    A year ago, a homeless woman confronted Mayor de Blasio during his gym workout in Park Slope to ask why the city doesn’t set aside more apartments for homeless people. The incident and a video of it in which the mayor refused to talk with the woman, Nathylin Flowers Adesegun, were widely ...

  • christine quinn wbai600

    (photo: @WINNYC_ORG)


    November 13, 2019 - Max & Murphy Podcast: Christine Quinn on Homelessness, Making Government Work, & Her Future

    christine quinn 150pxFormer City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, now the CEO of Win, one of the city's largest homeless shelter providers, joined the show to discuss the city's homelessness crisis, Win's work, broader government issues,

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  • mtapd grad

    (photo: Metropolitan Transportation Authority/Patrick Cashin)


    MTA Chair and CEO Pat Foye says the transit authority’s operating budget is in “dire” condition and independent budget watchdogs are alarmed its deficit is growing to unmanageable levels. Citizens Budget Commission estimates the MTA will be $740 million in the red in 2023 -- and this does not include new debt payments for the new, massive $51.5+ billion 2020-2024 capital plan. Separately, NYPD data shows subway crime is down 3% from

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  • mayor bdb dev

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


    It’s well-known that homelessness in New York City continues at crisis levels. Roughly 60,000 men, women, and children -- near record-highs, down just slightly from recent years -- are sleeping in the city's homeless shelter system every night. Another estimated 3,500 poor souls are living on the streets and subways mostly because they fear the crime that occurs in the city shelters.

    It has gotten so bad in the subway system, which according to the MTA has seen a 23% increase in homeless people present, that Governor Cuomo has

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  • vocal ny housing presser oct 2019

    Friday's press conference (photo: Vocal New York)


    A coalition of housing rights advocates and elected officials is seeking a “new deal” for homeless people living in New York City, as one activist put it at a rally on Friday.

    Members of the coalition gathered in front of City Hall to point out what they believe to be shortcomings of Mayor Bill de Blasio’s housing agenda and the dangers of celebrating too early the plan to shutter the Rikers Island jails. The jails are a cornerstone of the city’s criminal justice system that the advocates say

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  • homelessness rally

    The authors and others at a rally (photo: John McCarten/City Council)


    More than 61,000 men, women, and children will sleep in New York City shelters tonight, and this historic homelessness crisis will continue to devastate the lives of even more people unless Mayor de Blasio embraces the common sense plans that we have put forward from a City Council office and the Coalition for the Homeless, respectively.

    The record number of homeless New Yorkers will continue to reach new highs every year, according to the latest report from the Coalition. In stark contrast to Mayor

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    Steve Banks, right, with the Mayor and First Lady (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayor's Office)


    September 18, 2019 - Max & Murphy Podcast: The City's Fight Against Homelessness

    dss commissioner banks wbai 150Steve Banks, Commissioner of the Department of Social Services and Mayor de Blasio's homelessness czar, joined the show to discuss the city's fight against

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  • address grow p

    (photo: WSFSSH)


    The conversation around affordable housing in New York largely focuses on ensuring that working people can continue to live here.  

    Bus drivers, healthcare workers, elementary school teachers -- too few of the people who fulfill some of our city’s key services can afford a market-rate one-bedroom apartment within city limits. It’s inarguably a crisis that threatens the fundamental quality of our city, as well as its continued economic growth.

    But another tidal wave is growing that deserves equal attention: as baby boomers

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  • albany gov cuomo carl heastie

    Speaker Heastie & Governor Cuomo (photo: the governor's office)


    Despite previously lauding the 2019 state legislative session as the “most productive session in modern political history,” Governor Andrew Cuomo went on to call the session “not progressive enough,” citing a need “to do more on poverty.”

    At his celebratory, mostly upbeat end-of-session press conference on June 21, Cuomo was asked about what did not get done, and cited three issues he said he would work on next year: legalizing adult-use marijuana and paid

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


    Governor Andrew Cuomo believes in action, rather than rhetoric, and rarely shies away from criticizing those who he believes fail to live up to their promises, including his fellow Democrats. He’s also appeared particularly irritated by the ascendent progressive wing of the Democratic Party, which has challenged him, unfairly he argues, and offers what he says are pie-in-the-sky talking points over the types of achievable results he’s delivered.

    Cuomo brought the

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  • mayor bdb edu

    (photo: Benjamin Kanter/Mayoral Photo Office)


    Last year, nearly 38,000 New York City students arrived in the classroom having woken up in a shelter. That’s more students than the total enrollment of the Buffalo public schools, the next largest school district in the state.

    Many had been exposed to domestic violence, one of the driving forces of homelessness. Many were forced to transfer schools mid-year, some multiple times, after being placed in a shelter in an entirely different borough. Some were in placements with no kitchen or laundry machine. More than half missed

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  • thrivenyc dayofaction

    Chirlane McCray (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office)


    Questions have been raised recently about the cost and achievements of the ThriveNYC mental health initiative. This is no surprise: big, high-profile, efforts like ThriveNYC have always been susceptible to such criticisms.

    But ThriveNYC is just the unifying umbrella of more than 40 different pilot programs attempting to deliver innovative mental health interventions across multiple city agencies. Organizing these disparate efforts into one initiative helped get resources for

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  • citycouncil rafael

    (photo: John McCarten/City Council)


    Mayor Bill de Blasio was defensive on Thursday when asked about a report, released earlier this week by the Coalition for the Homeless, that criticized him for not doing enough to address the city’s homelessness crisis.

    While he has acknowledged his administration’s struggles addressing the crisis, the mayor has devoted significant additional resources to fighting homelessness and though the number of people in shelter has increased under his watch, he has made some progress in breaking the trajectory of the

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  • mayor bill de blasio pro

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


    As examination of Mayor Bill de Blasio’s preliminary budget for next city fiscal year continues, the Citizens’ Committee for Children, a small data- and advocacy-focused non-profit, is releasing a new infographic capturing key aspects of the city’s homelessness crisis, particularly the high proportions of families with children and black and Latino families that make up the city’s homeless population.

    It also points to the high number of students experiencing homelessness and raises the issue

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  • cluster apartments convert

    (photo: Edwin J. Torres/Mayoral Photography Office)


    Mayor de Blasio has been under constant fire for offering homeless New Yorkers access to just 5 percent of the units created and preserved by his 12-year, 300,000-unit affordable housing plan, even as homelessness has reached a new all-time record high. He has been confronted at his home, at the gym in Park Slope, and on the steps of City Hall, with a growing coalition of advocates, experts, elected officials, and homeless families demanding that the mayor increase that figure to 10 percent

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  • stringer housing presser1

    Comptroller Stringer (photo: @NYCComptroller)


    City Comptroller Scott Stringer unveiled an ambitious plan on Thursday to address New York’s affordable housing crisis, criticizing Mayor Bill de Blasio for not doing enough and calling for investment of hundreds of millions of dollars in additional funds, increasing the share of affordable housing units for homeless and very low income people, and funding it by shifting tax burdens towards the wealthiest New York homeowners.

    The plan, entitled “...

  • mxm logo

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


    November 28, 2018 - Max & Murphy Podcast: Homelessness & Affordable Housing Development

    This is part of AGENDA 2019, a joint Gotham Gazette-City Limits project
    Find the rest of the series

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  • mayorsoffice unbranded

    (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office)


    The red carpet has been rolled out and Mayor de Blasio and Governor Cuomo are giddily holding open the doors: Jeff Bezos and Amazon are coming to town, for the low price of $3 billion, a helipad, and prime real estate in Queens. For years, homeless activists have pressed the mayor and governor to invest resources and political will to tackle the historic crisis of homelessness plaguing both our city and state. Instead, they partnered in selling out taxpayers and sidelining politicians to make the Amazon deal a

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  • 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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