On March 29th, Governor Cuomo took an important first step in addressing New York’s historic crisis of homelessness by removing the restrictive budget language that prevented the City from offering rent subsidies to move homeless families out of shelter and into permanent housing.
We applaud Mayor de Blasio and Governor Cuomo for working together, setting the stage for the creation of a key housing-based solution – long advocated by the Coalition – that will finally help stem the crushing tide of homelessness. It’s imperative that the City and State build upon this collaboration to provide stable affordable permanent housing to homeless New Yorkers – and they must do so quickly. With over 53,000 homeless men, women and children sleeping each night in NYC shelters, there is simply no time to spare.
The creation of a new rent subsidy program is a crucial piece of a comprehensive, effective plan which also must also include:
• the reinstatement of priority access to NYCHA housing and Section 8 vouchers;
• permanent supportive housing for homeless individuals, couples and families with physical and psychiatric impairments; and
• housing affordable to New Yorkers at the lowest rung of the housing ladder – as part of the much anticipated Mayor's housing plan, set to be released on May 1st.
The powerful combination of these proven, fiscally-sound housing-based solutions will ensure Mayor de Blasio and Governor Cuomo will effectively break from the failed policies of the past decade, giving thousands of our homeless neighbors the stability and dignity of stable homes for themselves and their families.
The Coalition is truly grateful that both the Mayor and Governor have expressed their commitment to ameliorate the suffering of our homeless neighbors by taking this promising initial step.
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"The State has taken a needed first step by amending budget language that prevented the City from offering rent subsidies to homeless families.
"The City and State must now work quickly to provide stable affordable housing to homeless New Yorkers through a new rent subsidy program, priority access to NYCHA housing and Section 8 vouchers, and housing created or preserved in the Mayor's overall affordable housing plan.
"Together, these critical steps will begin to reduce the record levels of homelessness facing New York City.”
Patrick Markee, Senior Policy Analyst, Coalition for the Homeless