Tuesday, August 14, 2012 by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Today’s Read: Housing Court and Homeless Shelters

“Recently, the line to get into Bronx housing court was a block long….”

As a huge number of families face eviction, it’s hard to get a sense of the true scope of the problem. WNYC’s Cindy Rodriguez reports today on something we’ve known for a while—thousands of families are facing eviction after losing their Advantage rental subsidies. And as families pack the waiting rooms of social service providers in an attempt to access the last remaining rental subsidy (FEPS), still more families will eventually become homeless again.

“[Cruz] Santos lives in a one-bedroom apartment in the Bronx with her four kids, who range in age from 12 to 8. The whole family sleeps in one room. She’s supporting them on a $9 an hour job at Starbucks….Santos, herself, has been in and out of shelter three times.”

Families like the Santos’ are the perfect example of what is wrong with Mayor Bloomberg’s homeless policies. Although she is working to support her kids, she doesn’t make nearly enough money to afford an apartment in New York. What she desperately needs is a housing subsidy that will provide her with ongoing support and allow her to increase her income over time. Federal housing programs like public housing and Section 8 do just that, but since 2005, Mayor Bloomberg has prevented homeless families from accessing these valuable resources.

It’s time for that to change, and we think the families packed into housing court and homeless shelters citywide would agree.

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