Coalition for the Homeless Responds to Bloomberg’s Rush to Cut Off “Advantage”

For Immediate Release: February 3, 2012

Contact: Dan Levitan, (646) 200-5315

Coalition for the Homeless Responds to Bloomberg's Rush to Cut Off "Advantage" Tenants from Desperately Needed Housing Assistance in Wake of Court Decision

The following statement can be attributed to Mary Brosnahan, Executive Director of the Coalition for the Homeless:

"The Court's ruling means that Mayor Bloomberg is on the brink of getting his wish - at least 8,000 additional formerly homeless families will be at immediate risk of being evicted from their homes in the middle of winter. Many, if not most, will return to the overcrowded homeless shelter system, where the City will be forced to spend more in taxpayer dollars than it would have cost to keep these families in their homes.

"Mayor Bloomberg is fighting for the right to evict these families amidst record homelessness in NYC: more than 41,000 New Yorkers are homeless, including 17,000 children. Michael Bloomberg is now the first mayor in modern history with no program whatsoever to move people out of shelters and into affordable homes. His legacy is the sad result of this failed approach and New York's all-time record is sure to grow worse as the city rushes to cut off Advantage families from the help they were promised.

"The fight to protect Advantage tenants is far from over. Advantage families, represented by the Legal Aid Society and Weil Gotshal & Manges, will be pressing their case next week before the New York State Supreme Court's Appellate Division, First Department, and hoping to stave off this catastrophe."

Background: When the city ended the Advantage program last summer, advocates led by the Legal Aid Society sued to prevent formerly homeless families already in the program from being cut off from housing assistance. Yesterday, a temporary court order won by Legal Aid which had kept thousands of families in their homes was lifted, and the Bloomberg Administration has already announced that it will not pay February rent support for thousands of Advantage families.