Since being evicted from her apartment in New York’s Bronx neighborhood in September, Areletha McLain and her six young children have crammed into a two-bedroom apartment with five relatives. Their belongings are piled up in a corner and the kids sleep doubled-up in bunks scattered throughout the unit.
It is not her first eviction, and they have taken a toll on her children. “When they get comfortable [with a school] and start liking it, that’s when they get taken from it,” she said.
The last time that Congress approved a sweeping overhaul of the federal tax code, in 1986, it created a tax credit meant to encourage the private sector to invest in affordable housing. It has grown into a $9 billion-a-year social program that has funded the construction of some three million apartments for low-income residents.
But the Republican tax plan approved last month amounts to a vast cutback, making it much less likely that such construction will continue apace. Because the tax rate for corporations has been lowered, the value of the credits — which corporations get in return for their investments — is also lower.
More than 60,000 New Yorkers have no place to call home and the punishing cold weather can prove deadly for anyone sleeping on the streets.
“It’s extremely dangerous, you’re talking about people dealing with hypothermia, who are not prepared, but have to be outside,” said Juan De La Cruz, Program Director for Coalition for the Homeless.
Cruz and dozens of volunteers hit NYC streets Friday night giving out hot food, coats and sleeping bags to those in need.