City Council Speaker Christine Quinn Calls on Mayor to Address Homelessness Crisis

Yesterday, New York City Council Speaker Christine Quinn delivered her annual State of the City address. Although she touched on many issues, she didn’t ignore the City’s current crisis of record homelessness. During her speech, she called on Mayor Bloomberg’s administration to return to the proven effective practice of prioritizing homeless individuals and families for federal housing resources.

Quinn acknowledged the current homelessness crisis and lamented that there are currently no programs in place to assist families and individuals to move out of shelter and into permanent housing. In addition to restoring federal housing priority, she also called for a replacement City subsidy that should be modeled on successful rental assistance programs like Section 8.

Coalition for the Homeless Executive Director, Mary Brosnahan responded to Quinn’s speech with praise:

“Speaker Quinn got it right. New York City must return to the longstanding and successful practice of prioritizing the homeless for Section 8 vouchers and NYCHA vacancies – policies that in the past have helped thousands of families leave behind homeless shelters for good. The Bloomberg Administration’s misguided decision to cut off these options for the homeless is a major factor in today’s homelessness crisis, and the Speaker’s comments are a breath of fresh air.

“We also commend the Speaker’s call for a new, city-funded rental assistance program modeled on the Section 8 program. For the first time in modern history, New York City now has no program for moving the homeless from shelters into affordable housing and the Speaker’s new initiative, if enacted, would fill a desperate need and would help thousands of families get back on their feet. We hope the Mayor will give both of the Speaker’s proposals careful consideration.”

You can watch Speaker Quinn’s proposals to address homelessness:


Or watch the full address on NY1.