Cuomo’s ‘Pathetic’ Withholding of Promised Funds is Keeping Housing for the Homeless From Getting Built

Homelessness in New York City is at an all-time high thanks to the chronic housing shortage, wage stagnation (and for low-income workers, wage decline), and Governor Andrew Cuomo and former mayor Michael Bloomberg’s elimination of the Advantage rental assistance program in 2011, among other factors.

Mayor Bill de Blasio has poured energy and resources into reversing the trend and backing away from noxious Bloomberg policies such as placing shelter residents in apartment buildings at luxury rent rates with little oversight to ensure service provision, or even basic standards of repair. Money he has committed to providing legal services to people facing eviction, and to creating new voucher programs to replace Advantage have kept the record high shelter population of about 60,000 from creeping even higher, but massive problems persist throughout the shelter system, and the massive load of people in need of shelter means the city is rapidly repurposing hotels for use as shelters, recreating many of the problems of so-called cluster site apartment building shelters—lacking services, lax security—and posing new ones in the process.

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