Gotham Gazette

The Place for New York Policy and politics

 

Homelessness

Homelessness

  • 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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    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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    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 “...

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    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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  • 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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    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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