Bill de Blasio and Andrew Cuomo could become the first mayor and governor in decades who fail to set aside their differences to jointly fund a housing program for homeless New Yorkers.
De Blasio recently announced a new city plan for what’s called supportive housing — which includes on-site services like case workers, counseling, and mental health — saying he could no longer wait on the state, and he called on Cuomo to “step up” and contribute as well.
We talk often about affordable housing on Long Island. Mostly, we think of young workers still living with their parents, or older adults who no longer want their sprawling homes. Rarely do we think of the Long Islanders who are homeless.
But we must. There are about 3,800 Long Islanders who don’t have a permanent place to live. Half are children. Most are living in shelters, but as many as 300 are now on the streets, according to estimates from the Long Island Coalition for the Homeless, which does a once-a-year count. At the start of 2014, there were fewer than 3,000 homeless people, and 64 on the streets. Amid a worsening problem, the funds and attention aren’t sufficient.
The goal, ending chronic homelessness, sounded like the stuff of fairy tales when it was announced a few years ago. It seemed more like do-gooders tilting at windmills than an actual goal that could plausibly be achieved.
But, surprise: It’s happening in Buffalo. Call it a Christmas present to us all.