Policy Briefs

The Revolving Door Keeps Spinning: New Data Shows that Half of “Advantage” Families Have Returned to the NYC Homeless Shelter System

December 28, 2013 -- Coalition for the Homeless released a new report with fresh evidence that the Bloomberg administration’s flawed Advantage program was a revolving door back to homelessness for thousands of families and children – and cost taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars.  Download report here.

Homeless Again: The Costs of Excluding Homeless Families from Housing Assistance

March 18, 2013 -- New data show the number of families re-entering the shelter system has reached a new high and is contributing to current record homelessness. By the end of 2012, over 6,500 former-Advantage families had re-entered shelter, costing the City millions in avoidable shelter expenses. Download report here.

Voiceless Victims: The Impact of Record Homelessness on Children

September 25,2012 -- The Bloomberg administration's homeless policy failures have pushed the shelter population to unprecedented levels - with over 19,000 children in city shelters. This report discusses the challenges these children face and details a plan by the City Council that would reverse this trend and save taxpayer money.

Homeless Again: Former Advantage Tenants Adding to Already Record Homelessness in New York City

June 15, 2012 -- With New York City homelessness already at record levels, the number of homeless children and adults crowding municipal shelters is poised to rise even higher in coming months as families cut off from the Advantage program return to shelter.

Record Homelessness: Impact on Children

November 21, 2011 -- The number of children in New York City shelters has reached an all-time high. As a result, an increasing number of homeless students are facing great challenges in obtaining a good education.

Forty-one Thousand: As Mayor Bloomberg's Failed Policies Exacerbate Crisis, NYC Homeless Shelter Population Tops 41,000 People Per Night for First Time Ever

November 9, 2011 -- New City data shows that the New York City municipal shelter population now exceeds 41,000 homeless people per night for the first time since modern homelessness began three decades ago.

More NYC Families Turned Away from Shelter Than Ever

May 2, 2011 -- Amidst high unemployment and the loss of affordable housing, a record number of New Yorkers sought help at municipal homeless shelters last year. However, the Bloomberg administration's response was to turn away a record number of families and children at the shelter door.

New Federal Data Confirms Rising Homeless Population in New York

April 26, 2011 -- The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development has released new data confirming the rising number of homeless people in New York. The new data show that homelessness worsened significantly between 2009 and 2010 in New York City and throughout the rest of the state.  

A Better, More Cost-Effective Alternative to the Failed "Advantage" Program

March 14, 2011 -- An alternative to the failed Advantage program will save City and State taxpayer dollars and provide better, more stable housing options for homeless children and adults exiting shelter.  

The Revolving Door Spins Faster: New Evidence Shows that the Flawed "Advantage" Program Forces Many Formerly-Homeless Families Back Into Homelessness

February 16, 2011 -- Three years after its inception, alarming new evidence shows how the Bloomberg administration's flawed Advantage program is forcing rising numbers of formerly-homeless New York City children and families back into homelessness.  Governor Cuomo's proposal to eliminate State funding for the program offers City and State officials the opportunity to reform New York's failed approach to family homelessness.  

Revolving Door: How the Bloomberg Administration is Putting Families at Risk of Returning to Shelter

July 20, 2010 -- Amidst record family homelessness and high unemployment, the Bloomberg administration is putting thousands of formerly-homeless families at risk of returning to homelessness by cutting them off from rental assistance under the three-year-old Advantage program. Additionally, this summer the administration will enact changes to the Advantage program that will only accelerate the program's "revolving door" back to homelessness.  

From Bad to Worse: Mayor Bloomberg's Proposed FY 2011 Cutbacks to Homeless Services

May 12, 2010 -- At a time of all-time record homelessness and double-digit unemployment in New York City, Mayor Bloomberg has proposed sharp City budget cutbacks to vital services that help homeless and at-risk New Yorkers.

Undercounting the Homeless 2010

January 24, 2010 -- This year, the New York City Department of Homeless Services is conducting its eighth annual HOPE street homelessness survey. And once again, there is mounting evidence that the City's survey and its resulting "estimate" fail to measure homelessness accurately and mislead the general public about the scale of the problem.

NYC Homeless Shelter Population Reaches All-Time High: Over 39,000 Homeless People and 10,000 Homeless Families in Shelters Each Night

October 13, 2009 -- New data show that, for the first time ever, more than 39,000 homeless New Yorkers - including more than 10,000 homeless families, an all-time high -- sleep in municipal shelters each night. City data also show that, since Mayor Bloomberg took office, 45 percent more New Yorkers sleep in municipal homeless shelters each year. All in all, the new City data confirm that the current year is the worst on record for New York City homelessness since the Great Depression of the 1930s. Download pdf here.

Capacity Crunch: NYC Shelter System Running Out of Beds as Winter Approaches

October 4, 2009 -- The number of homeless single adults in shelters has risen dramatically this year. As winter approaches, the NYC shelter system is running out of beds for homeless men and women. Download pdf here.

New York's Homeless Shelter Ejection and Denial Rules: Summary of Needed Changes to Protect Homeless New Yorkers 

August 25, 2009 -- This summer, at the urging of the Bloomberg administration, New York State officials approved punitive new rules that will result in many homeless children and adults in New York City being ejected from shelter to the streets for 30 days or more, and that require many homeless families to make payments for the cost of shelter. Download pdf here.

Protecting Homeless New Yorkers from Paying “Rent” for Shelter and from Ejection from Shelter to the Street

August 10, 2009 -- This summer New York State officials approved the City of New York's plan to implement punitive new rules that will result in many homeless children and adults being ejected from shelter to the streets for 30 days or more, and that require many homeless families to make payments for the cost of shelter. Under the new rules recently implemented by the City of New York with the approval of State officials, many homeless children and adults will be ejected from shelter to the streets for 30 days or more for missing appointments, for failing to pay shelter "rent," or if a homeless family's welfare case is suspended or closed - something that happens routinely due to bureaucratic error. Download pdf here.

Fewer Resources for Street Homeless Individuals

July 22, 2009 -- At a time when homelessness is on the rise, the Bloomberg administration has cut resources and reduced access to emergency shelter services for street homeless individuals. Dowload pdf here.

Losing Shelter: New York’s Harmful Policy of Ejecting Homeless Adults Living with Mental Illness and Disabilities from Shelter to the Streets

June 24, 2009 -- Pursuant to a 1995 State regulation issued by the Pataki administration, the City of New York has for more than three years attempted to eject dozens of homeless adults from shelter to the streets. In addition, the City has issued pre-ejection sanction notices to hundreds more homeless adults, targeting them for loss of shelter. This policy brief provides descriptions of several cases of homeless adults living with mental or physical illnesses whom the City of New York has sought to eject from shelter to the streets. Download pdf here.

Five Years Later: The Failure of Mayor Bloomberg's Five-Year Homeless Plan

June 23, 2009 -- June 23rd marks the five-year anniversary of Mayor Bloomberg's five-year plan to reduce homelessness by two-thirds, and it is now clear that the plan has failed. The number of homeless families now is higher than when Mayor Bloomberg unveiled his plan, and there are more than 5,000 more homeless New Yorkers in municipal shelters compared to when the Mayor took office. Download pdf here.

Research Proves that Federal Housing Programs Work to Reduce Family Homelessness

February 12, 2009 -- A growing body of academic research has shown that Federal housing programs and similar, long-term housing assistance are remarkably effective in reducing family homelessness - both in helping homeless families move from shelters to permanent housing, and in ensuring that these families remain stably housed. This policy brief summarizes research over the past decade and discusses its implications for policy in New York City. Download pdf here.

Cutbacks to Homelessness Prevention Programs in New York State and City Budgets

February 9, 2009 -- At a time of worsening economic recession, growing job losses, and rising homelessness, New York State and City budgets are making sharp cutbacks to proven homelessness prevention programs. Although record numbers of newly homeless families have entered New York City shelters in recent months, both Governor Paterson and Mayor Bloomberg have proposed - and in some cases, already enacted - significant cutbacks in programs designed to help at-risk families stay in their homes. Download pdf here.

Policy Briefs Archive