Another Successful Holiday Toy Drive!

We are thrilled to announce that the Coalition’s 2022 Holiday Toy Drive was a great success. Thanks to you and your support we collected and distributed nearly 10,000 toys to children in New York City shelters! 

We were delighted to kick off the season by throwing our annual Kid’s Holiday Carnival on December 10th with more than 70 children, who joined us for an afternoon of games, music, festive food and special guests. The children were elated to walk into a winter wonderland of colorful decorations, delicious food and exciting gift bags packed with special treats. Everyone sat in awe during the amazing magic show, and the kids were overjoyed as they were treated to a personal visit with Santa himself, who sent all of the children home with their arms full of goodies and presents. 

Thanks to you, we were able to give out hundreds of action figures, barbie dolls, cars, plush toys, and so much more, giving thousands of children the magic and joy of the holidays! But most importantly, we gave these great kids happy memories that they will look back on with smiles for years to come. 

We want to send a special thanks to Spectrum News and Roger Clark for once again featuring our Toy Drive in the news, which resulted in an overwhelming wave of toys and support. 

We also appreciate all of the companies that participated and helped make all this possible, especially Antin Infrastructure Partners, Atrium, Ben Group, Carnegie Corporation of NY, Danone, PDT Partners, Parsons, Pfizer, Siguler Guff & Company, SimCorp, and so many more! And a special thanks to all the individuals who shared info about and supported the drive to help us reach our goal! 

We know it is not an easy time for many of us, and that makes any type of support we receive even more special. Thank you for reminding us that through the good times and the hard times, you are still here with us. 

Thanks again, and happy New Year from everyone at the Coalition!

Out of Reach Report Makes a Case for Investing in Housing

Affordable housing remains out of reach for countless people in New York and across the United States. The National Low Income Housing Coalition’s latest annual Out of Reach report underscores the ever-growing divide between stagnant incomes and rising rents throughout the nation. This year’s report found that a full-time worker earning the minimum wage cannot afford a two-bedroom rental in any state, county, or city in the country, and they can only afford a one-bedroom rental in a paltry 9 percent of all U.S. counties.

The data for New York are particularly troubling. Compared with all states, New York State has the fourth highest “housing wage” – the hourly wage a full-time worker must earn to rent a modest home without spending more than 30 percent of their income on housing. Consistent with the annual report’s findings from past years, the affordability issues are even more dire in the New York City region, where the 2022 Fair Market Rent is $2,054 for a one-bedroom apartment and $2,340 for a two-bedroom apartment. A full-time worker needs to make $39.50 per hour to afford a modest one-bedroom apartment in New York City, or $45 per hour for a two-bedroom apartment – which is triple the $15 local hourly minimum wage. The brunt of this affordability crisis disproportionately falls on Black and Latinx renters, and especially Black and Latinx women, whose incomes in low-wage industries are often insufficient to match the exorbitant cost of housing. About one-third of families in NYC shelters include someone who is employed, but they still cannot afford rent. In a June brief, we highlighted the pronounced lack of affordable housing in New York City and how our housing market is mismatched with the needs of the population.

We know the solution to homelessness is affordable and accessible housing. Rather than painting homelessness and housing instability as personal moral failures or using them for political fanfare, we must acknowledge that these are systemic issues and hold elected officials accountable for affirming that housing is a human right.

All levels of government must recognize the severity of the housing crisis and invest in housing on a scale to match the need. This means fully funding housing vouchers, including making Section 8 Housing Choice Vouchers an entitlement, to help bridge the difference between incomes and rents. As we explained in our State of the Homeless 2022 report, the City must also build significantly more housing that is actually affordable to people with the lowest incomes, by producing at least 6,000 apartments per year for homeless households and 6,000 apartments per year for households with extremely low incomes. Such bold action is necessary to reverse course and finally make affordable housing a reality within the reach of all New Yorkers.

Thank You for Making the 15th Annual Project: Back to School a Tremendous Success!

We would like to extend a huge thank you to everyone who participated in the Coalition’s 15th annual Project: Back to School! Thanks to you all we were able to distribute more than 4,000 backpacks filled with essential school supplies including notebooks, binders, pencils, calculators, PPE, and more to children in 38 shelters throughout New York City. 

Your generosity has made an enormous impact on thousands of homeless children’s lives. Thanks to you, these kids were able to walk into school on the first day of class feeling supported and prepared for the year ahead.

A special thanks to 400 Capital Management, Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel LLP, AIG, Mazars, and Carolina Herrera for raising precious funds and assembling hundreds of backpacks filled with essential school supplies!

Tonight, more than 11,000 homeless schoolkids will sleep in New York City shelters. Starting a new school year inevitably comes with challenges, but for our city’s homeless youth the challenges and stresses they face are unimaginable. A gift as small as a backpack can make a huge difference in alleviating some of that stress and enabling students to start the year off on the right foot.

Thank you for being an invaluable partner in this work and for helping homeless children succeed in the classroom and beyond!

There’s still time to support Project: Back to School!