Coalition Testifies on New York City Fiscal Year 2020 Executive Budget

On Thursday, May 23, Coalition for the Homeless submitted testimony to the New York City Council Committee on Finance and Subcommittee on Capital Budget on the NYC Fiscal Year 2020 Executive Budget. As the Coalition’s recent State of the Homeless 2019 report explains, New York City remains in the midst of the worst homelessness crisis since the Great Depression, and the problem will only worsen unless the Mayor makes more robust investments in permanent, affordable housing. The City budget process presents an opportunity to finally realign the Mayor’s Housing New York 2.0 plan with the reality of record homelessness, and to accelerate the production of desperately needed permanent supportive housing. The Coalition testified:

For more than a year, the Coalition for the Homeless has been leading the House Our Future NY Campaign in partnership with 64 other organizations. The campaign is urging Mayor de Blasio to build 24,000 apartments and preserve at least 6,000 more for homeless New Yorkers, for a total of 30,000 in his 300,000-unit Housing New York 2.0 plan. Mayor de Blasio’s housing plan currently sets aside just 15,000 apartments for homeless New Yorkers, with most of those units financed through the preservation of apartments that are already occupied and thus not available to those desperately trying to move out of shelters. The House Our Future NY Campaign’s emphasis on new construction will expand the supply of affordable housing and create apartments available for immediate occupancy by homeless New Yorkers. The Coalition urges the City to immediately implement the House Our Future NY Campaign’s plan in order to match the scale of the ongoing homelessness crisis. To meet the Campaign’s goal, the City will need to build roughly 2,700 new apartments each year between now and 2026.

The Coalition also urges the Mayor to accelerate the creation of 15,000 City-funded, supportive housing units by scheduling their completion by 2025 rather than 2030. These units are critically needed because the single adult shelter census continues to increase by 10 percent each year, while placements into supportive housing are at a 14-year low.

Although the Coalition’s recommendations have budgetary implications, they can be funded in a number of ways, including by leveraging existing Federal and City funds. Implementation of the Coalition’s recommendations will ultimately reduce the staggering cost of sheltering tens of thousands of New Yorkers each night – a financial burden that has fallen disproportionately on the City.

The full testimony can be read here.