Monday, August 27, 2012 by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Fact-Checking: Blaming “Out-of-Towners”

In an attempt to divert attention away from the current lack of housing options, some folks are continuing to blame out-of-towners for current record homelessness and the strains on the shelter system. We have addressed this myth before, but let’s re-look at the numbers:

Over the past five years, shelter applicants from out of town have continued to remain a very small portion of the total number of families applying for shelter, making up roughly 8-9 percent of all applicants.

Between 2007 and 2011, the total number of shelter applicants increased by 5,926 families. Only 758 of these families were from outside the five boroughs. Furthermore, the number of out-of-town applicants actually decreased by 6 percent from 2010 to 2011.

Finally, DHS only reports data on the number of out-of-town applicants, not the number of out-of-town families found eligible for shelter. So the number of out-of-town families actually living in NYC shelters is in fact even lower than these numbers suggest.

All in all, this fictional narrative about out-of-towners flooding New York’s shelters is merely a distraction from the real driver of record homelessness – Mayor Bloomberg's ongoing policy of denying affordable housing resources to homeless families.

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