CityViews: De Blasio Can Fulfill his Progressive Promise by Retooling his Housing Plan

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio has made great strides in carrying out his oft-repeated pledge to make the Big Apple “the fairest big city in America.”

He made universal pre-kindergarten a reality, played a key role in raising the city’s minimum wage, slashed the number of unconstitutional, raced-based police stop and frisks, and made it easier for low-income New Yorkers to access critical anti-poverty benefits.

Yet, even though New York City is home to about 70 billionaires and 389,000 millionaires, it is also a city where approximately 1.1 million people still can’t afford all the food they need; a city where 130,000 men, women and children were relegated to sleeping in shelters last year; a city where thousands still live, and too often die, on our streets.

In many of the nation’s big cities, hunger and homelessness remain rampant. But given that de Blasio is enacting so many progressive policies to combat poverty, why are these problems still pervasive here?

The reason is actually quite simple: Even with recent modest wage hikes, too many people simply earn too little to cover the soaring costs of child care, food, transportation, health care, and most critically, housing.

Read more