Thursday, March 17, 2011 by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Mayor Bloomberg’s Unlawful, Irresponsible Threat to Displace 15,000 Formerly-Homeless Families

In yet another example of fear-mongering and misleading the public, the Bloomberg administration threatened today to cut off rent subsidies for 15,000 formerly-homeless families -- and the Coalition vowed to stop this unlawful action.

As part of its increasingly desperate efforts to preserve the failed Advantage program, today the Bloomberg administration announced it is sending notices to 15,000 formerly-homeless families telling them they'll be cut off of rental assistance next month.

This irresponsible and patently unlawful threat is all part of the Mayor's attempt to play budget politics with the State -- but it will undoubtedly spread fear and panic among thousands of vulnerable children and families.

Coalition for the Homeless and the Legal Aid Society vowed to fight the City's unlawful actions in court, and seek an injunction to halt the termination of vital public benefits. The Legal Aid Society has prepared fact sheets detailing the City's legal commitments, which are available here.

The Coalition's Executive Director, Mary Brosnahan, issued the following statement today.

"Denying benefits to formerly homeless families who have already entered the Advantage program is cruel, counterproductive, and illegal -- and we will be going to court with the Legal Aid Society to stop it from happening. The Bloomberg Administration is now using some of New York's most vulnerable families as pawns in its budget battle with the State."

"But the Mayor cannot pin the blame on Albany. Years of the his administration's failed policies have led to record homelessness, overcrowded shelters, and a deeply flawed pet project - the Advantage program - which the City's own data shows has become little more than a revolving door back to homelessness."

"Now, New York is on the verge of becoming the only major city in America with no plan whatsoever for moving people out of homeless shelters. Fortunately, the alternative is clear. By returning to the proven and cost-effective policy of allowing qualified homeless families to access federal housing programs like public housing and Section 8 vouchers, we can save City and State taxpayer dollars, help thousands of families get back on their feet, and phase out the failed Advantage program without resorting to scare tactics like these."


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