Gotham Gazette

The Place for New York Policy and politics

Homelessness

Homelessness

  • housing NYC

    New Yorkers in search of affordable housing (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayor's Office)


    With the rights of those experiencing homelessness being debated - or disregarded - in the move from hotels back to congregate shelters, homeless New Yorkers declared July Homeless Rights Month, forcing our leaders to reckon with those often ignored in our policy debates, simply because they don’t have a permanent address. While the United Nations has ...

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    New Yorkers


    As most New Yorkers adjust to enjoy newly vaccinated and unmasked social lives, many of the city’s most medically vulnerable – homeless individuals who through painstaking work by many advocates were able to secure safe, secure hotel rooms for the duration of the COVID-19 pandemic – remain in unnecessary peril. At City Hall’s whim, they are being sent back en masse to congregate living facilities that, with the rise of the much more transmissible Delta variant, may become hotbeds of viral transmission even among the fully vaccinated

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  • 1 young adults utility

    A discussion with young adults (photo: Edwin J. Torres/Mayoral Photograph)


    New York City Department of Youth & Community Development (DYCD) shelters and drop-in centers are specifically designated for youth and young adults ages 16-24. Yet, those same youth, when between the ages of 18-24, are not eligible to receive housing vouchers unless they move into a Department of Homeless Services (DHS) adult shelter. For its entirety, the de Blasio administration has withheld critical housing vouchers for young people in DYCD programs rather than

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  • shelter housing

    Shelter in the Bronx (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayor's Office)


    Tens of thousands of parents and children are living in city shelters. Some of the worst effects of the pandemic may not be felt until the next mayor is in office in 2021, when New York City and State may have to reckon with the fallout from an expiring eviction moratorium, mass income losses, and diminishing federal stimulus.

    Three of the front-runners for the Democratic nomination for mayor -- civil rights attorney Maya Wiley, city government veteran Kathryn Garcia, and entrepreneur Andrew Yang --

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  • cm raf holds

    Housing rally (photo: John McCarten/City Council)


    An advocacy group that has spent decades fighting for the “defunding of harmful systems” is issuing a call to action to New York City’s political class to reorient city government and pursue permanent solutions to longstanding issues of home lessness, substance use, mental health, criminalization, and

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  • Gotham Gazette:

    (top: Shaun Donovan, Kathryn Garcia, Andrew Yang, Ray McGuire; bottom: Eric Adams, Dianne Morales, Maya Wiley, Scott Stringer)


    Eight leading Democratic candidates in the race for mayor appeared in the first televised mayoral forum of the 2021 race to share their policy proposals for tackling housing and homelessness in New York City. The discussion had a particular focus on the fallout of the coronavirus pandemic, which has added a new layer of concern regarding homelessness, evictions, rent and mortgage debt, housing segregation, affordable and

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  • video affo cons

    Housing plans in motion (photo: Ed Reed/Mayoral Photography Office)


    In the latest video brief on key issues facing New York City and at the center of the 2021 city elections, hosts Ben Max and Jarrett Murphy discuss housing, including the them es of housing development, neighborhood rezonings, affordable housing, homelessness, and NYCHA public housing. Watch:

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    Housing underway (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office)


    We as a city spend $3 billion annually on shelters -- including renting hotel rooms -- that fail to provide the services New Yorkers experiencing homelessness need. 

    These band-aid solutions don’t work. They’ve never worked. Before COVID-19, more than half of New Yorkers were paying more than 30% of their income on

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  • apt con per

    A scene from the Bronx (photo: Edwin J. Torres/Mayoral Photography Office)


    The number of military veterans experiencing homelessness in the United States was cut nearly in half between 2010 and 2016, the result of a focus on veterans’ homelessness by the Obama administration.  

    This focus included: ...

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    New York City (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office)


    Well before the beginning of the pandemic that has turned life upside down, New Yorkers already faced a devastating affordable housing and homelessness crisis. Even without the dramatic wave of unemployment brought about by a global pandemic, low-income tenants and homeless people across the city faced a grave lack of truly affordable housing and the absence of an effective citywide plan to fix it. Now, of course, the crisis has deepened, with tenants who have long lived paycheck to paycheck

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    Mayor de Blasio at a homeless shelter (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayor's Office)


    “We’ve opened shelters in communities that have never had shelters before,” New York City Social Services Commissioner Steve Banks said in October, at an online event hosted by New York Law School that took place amid controversy over Mayor Bill de Blasio’s decision to move homeless men from the Lucerne Hotel on the Upper West Side after uproar from some local residents.

    Banks alluded to the de Blasio administration’s “Turning the Tide” initiative, a plan to

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  • marsha house lgbtq

    Housing is the focus (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayor's Office)


    Over the next several months, New York City will continue deciding how to disperse roughly $34 million in federal Community Service Block Grants (CSBG) and related funds that are available for the current period. However, at this juncture, the magnitude and intensity of the COVID-19 pandemic’s effects suggest strongly that going forward the money should go to community-based groups focused on meeting two urgent needs: relieving hunger and preventing homelessness. 

    CSBG funds are made available

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  • demo may cand

    (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office)


    Eight mayoral candidates participated in a recent forum focused on public and private housing, and homelessness. The December 5 event, which was part of the 15th annual West Side Tenants' Conference, featured Brooklyn City Council Member Carlos Menchaca, former nonprofit executive Dianne Morales, Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams, entrepreneur Joycelyn Taylor, former city Sanitation

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  • 8x8mashup2

    Top (l-r): Eric Adams, Shaun Donovan, Kathryn Garcia, Carlos Menchaca
    Bottom (l-r): Dianne Morales, Scott Stringer, Joycelyn Taylor, Maya Wiley


    Eight Democratic candidates for New York City mayor running in the June 2021 primary appeared by Zoom on Saturday to discuss public housing, private housing, homelessness, and the issues and policies that connect them all. The candidates offered their thoughts on current policies, offered their ideas for the future, and discussed what they would do if they were mayor today. Participants were Carlos Menchaca, Eric Adams, Dianne Morales,

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  • mastro home vandalism lucerne homeless shelter controversy

    Vandalism at the home of Randy Mastro, the author


    It happened two weeks ago in the dead of night. More than a dozen people wearing hoods and masks arrived on bicycles outside my family's Manhattan residence and proceeded to vandalize it.

    In premeditated, coordinated fashion, the perpetrators spray-painted, in bright red and black using cut-out stencils, profanities and slogans, such as ""F**k You Randy," "Prick," "Randy Mastro You Can't Displace Us," "No Room For NIMBY's," "Shame," and "Housing Is A Human Right," on the

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  • back ch ric

    Remote learning in action (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office)


    Amid widespread criticism about a lack of internet access for students in homeless shelters who need to get online more than ever to complete their school work, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced that the city would equip every shelter with WiFi. But advocates are raising questions about execution of that pledge, especially as tens of thousands of students living in shelters need internet access now in order to engage in remote learning amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

    Despite de Blasio’s promise, issued

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  • city wilnon dev

    Mayor de Blasio addressing housing plans (photo: Edwin J. Torres/Mayoral Photography Office)


    New York City’s recent refusal to stand up to wealthy Upper West Siders is just another instance in an unending pattern of failures on housing and homelessness. 

    The saga of the Lucerne is emblematic of the interplay between the powerful and the powerless in New York City. In an effort to combat the spread of COVID-19, the de Blasio administration (after fierce advocacy from the Homeless Can’t

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  • deb rosen uws 600

    Mayor de Blasio & Council Member Rosenthal at a town hall (photo: Benjamin Kanter/Mayor's Office)


    September 2, 2020 - Max & Murphy Podcast: Controversy Over Homeless Shelters on the Upper West Side

    City Council Member Helen Rosenthal and Melissa Sanchez of Upper West Side Open Hearts Initiative joined the show to discuss the controversy around new homeless shelters on the Upper West Side.

    Listen to the conversation and let us know what you think -- we're on Twitter ...

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    (photo: John McCarten/City Council)


    I spent a good portion of my childhood and adolescence around the intersection of West 79th and Amsterdam, whether it was with my parents or friends’ parents at Bagels & Co., or picking up snacks at the Duane Reade or Insomnia, or covertly eating non-kosher at Island Burgers. So it has been deeply saddening for me to see such a cornerstone of my neighborhood be turned into a rallying cry for reactionary hatred. The temporary sheltering of a few hundred homeless people in the Lucerne, the Belleclaire, and the Belnord is the least

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  • hope survey hud

    The mayor carrying out the HOPE count (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayor's Office)


    It’s a shame that the city’s well-intentioned efforts to stop COVID-19 from spreading throughout homeless shelters turned negative so quickly. After relocating thousands of shelter residents into hotels on the Upper West Side and Midtown, Mayor Bill de Blasio is now reversing course in response to community uproar.

    The mayor’s reversal is a stopgap measure, because the reality is that with a second wave of covid expected this fall, a similar drama will likely rear its head. So,

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  • proj hos food

    Food distribution during the covid crisis (photo: Ed Reed/Mayoral Photography Office)


    COVID-19 has taught us painful lessons about inadequate disaster preparedness and a vulnerable health-care ecosystem. In the midst of access obstacles, insufficient resources, and a limited federal response, a virus of moderate virulence and lethality has taken an appalling toll — over 140,000 Americans have died of COVID-19 including more than 700 health-care workers. Local providers and governments have had to scramble and improvise to manage the onslaught to prevent an even worse

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  • city working dev

    Housing discrimination must be addressed (photo: Edwin J. Torres/Mayor's Office)


    In January 2015, I was released from a federal prison in California with the clothes I came in with, a few personal possessions I’d collected over the six years I had been incarcerated, and a bus ticket back to New York City. After a six-day journey home, I found myself subletting a room from a family friend – and as long as the rent was paid on time, they did not ask questions. Living in this apartment allowed me to find employment, cultivate relationships with my family, and continue pursuing

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  • jewish com council greater rosh

    New York City school children (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayor's Office)


    As thousands of demonstrators march through the streets of New York City calling for an end to police brutality and equality of opportunity for people of color, and we are on the verge of sending our children back to school of some kind, it is time that we focus on the most vulnerable people of color, and that is homeless children.

    The organization Advocates For Children estimates that there are 114,000 homeless students in the New York City school system and that

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  • public outreach homes

    Mayor de Blasio with homeless outreach (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayor's Office)


    As the city gradually reopens, we’ve seen many homeless New Yorkers kicked off the subways without being offered a safe, private alternative place to sleep. In some recent cases, we have seen police officers use unacceptable violence to drag homeless New Yorkers off the train. Fortunately, after repeated calls from homeless New Yorkers and advocates,

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  • unbrnded hra comm

    Homeless outreach workers approach a person in the subway (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayor's Office)


    As the city has been focused on the coronavirus crisis the attention concerning homeless people has been the growing number of them in the subway system, it is time we examined what is happening within the vast and very expensive shelter system that is costing $2 billion a year.

    As a former Deputy Commissioner with the New York City Department of Homeless Services I can tell you that there are three types of shelters. There is the single adult system, the adult

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