Friday, June 8, 2012 by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Homelessness Hits All-Time Record High As Bloomberg’s Failed Response Deepens Crisis

For Immediate Release: June 8, 2012
Contact: Dan Levitan (BerlinRosen) 646.200.5315

STATE OF THE HOMELESS 2012

HOMELESSNESS HITS ALL-TIME RECORD HIGH AS BLOOMBERG’S FAILED RESPONSE DEEPENS CRISIS

43,000 New Yorkers, 17,000 Children Stay in City Shelters Each Night; Speaker Quinn and Coalition Call for Return to Proven Solutions

NEW YORK – The Coalition for the Homeless released its annual State of the Homeless report today, showing new, record levels of homeless New Yorkers and children in the City’s shelter system – a direct result of the Bloomberg Administration’s failure to use proven, cost-effective strategies for moving homeless families into permanent affordable housing.

Under the Bloomberg Administration, New York City has cut off virtually all Federal housing assistance – including public housing and rental vouchers – for homeless children and families. Last year, Bloomberg ended his flawed, time-limited “Advantage” subsidy and became the first Mayor in modern history to have no housing program for homeless families.

“Mayor Bloomberg boldly promised to reduce homelessness by two-thirds. But instead, his failure to act has led to a nearly 40% increase,” said Mary Brosnahan, Executive Director of the Coalition for the Homeless. “By choosing to ignore the most successful approaches of Mayors Koch, Dinkins and Giuliani, more than 17,000 vulnerable children will be relegated to New York City homeless shelters tonight.”

The report’s findings include:

· Homeless shelter population at all-time record high: This spring, more than 43,000 homeless people – including a record 17,000 children – slept each night in municipal shelters.

· Dramatic increase: The homeless shelter population increased by 10% over the past year, and is a staggering 39% higher than when Mayor Bloomberg took office.

· Child Homelessness Surges: More than 17,000 homeless children slept each night in shelters this spring, an increase of 12% from last year. This is 32% increase since Mayor Bloomberg took office.

· Longer Shelter Stays: The average length of a family’s stay in NYC shelters rose 28% from the previous year – to nearly 12 months – as a direct result of the Bloomberg administration’s elimination of housing options for homeless families

Despite the bleak picture, the Coalition’s report underscored solutions, particularly New York City Council Speaker Christine Quinn’s call to resume the priority use of Federal housing programs to help homeless children and families leave the shelter system, as well as the creation of a new local rental assistance program modeled on the successful Federal housing voucher program.

“The record homeless rates in New York City cannot continue to go unchecked,” said Speaker Christine C. Quinn. “We need sensible solutions to address and reduce long term homelessness - that’s why I’ve called on Mayor Bloomberg to resume priority housing for homeless families. Not only would a return to this policy help people transition out of shelters and into permanent housing, it would save the City thousands of dollars in shelter system costs.”

Quinn’s plan would move thousands of homeless kids and families out of costly emergency shelters each year – reducing the shelter usage and saving City taxpayers millions currently spent on the shelter system, where it costs $36,000 per year to shelter a family compared to $10,000 per year for a housing voucher.

“By returning to proven, cost effective strategies to move the homeless into affordable homes, we can begin to reverse New York’s unprecedented homelessness crisis right now,” added Brosnahan.

The full report is available at http://www.coalitionforthehomeless.org/pages/state-of-the-homeless-2012

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