WASHINGTON — The country is in the grips of an escalating housing affordability crisis. Millions of low-income Americans are paying 70 percent or more of their incomes for shelter, while rents continue to rise and construction of affordable rental apartments lags far behind the need.
The Trump administration’s main policy response, unveiled this spring by Ben Carson, the secretary of housing and urban development: a plan to triple rents for about 712,000 of the poorest tenants receiving federal housing aid and to loosen the cap on rents on 4.5 million households enrolled in federal voucher and public housing programs nationwide, with the goal of moving longtime tenants out of the system to make way for new ones.
Brave survivors of human trafficking shared their personal stories on the steps of City Hall last week after state Assemblyman Andrew Hevesi (D-Forest Hills) and state Sen. Martin Golden (R-Bay Ridge) alongside advocacy groups urged Gov. Andrew Cuomo to sign a bill into law to establish safe housing for victims of human trafficking.
The joint bill, S.8305/A.9566 — which passed unanimously with bipartisan support in both houses — was introduced six months ago to create “culturally competent” short- and long-term safe house residential facilities and services operated by not-for-profit agencies for survivors of human trafficking.
New York City is consolidating its system of rental subsidies after four years of complaints from landlords wary of accepting vouchers and homeless people who have tried to use the vouchers to move out of shelters.
The city’s current system leaves homeless people to figure out which voucher program they qualify for. Some programs require a person to have had a shelter stay of 90 days and a full-time job. Some are limited to families with children. Others are for older people.