When Mayor Bill de Blasio was elected mayor in 2013, advocates for the homeless saw him as a leader who could bring meaningful change to New York City’s affordable-housing crisis.
They were so convinced of his commitment to the issue that they stopped their annual “sleep out” at City Hall Park, a demonstration that they held to bring attention to homelessness.
Six years later, those same advocates say much of their faith in Mr. de Blasio, a Democrat, has faded away. On Thursday night, the advocates were set to stage a “sleep out” for first time since Mr. de Blasio took office.
“We felt all together that it was time to do this again, and continue to put pressure on him,” said Giselle Routhier, policy director at the Coalition for the Homeless, a homeless advocacy group in the city.
Ms. Routhier said a main goal of the demonstration is to garner the mayor’s support for House Our Future NY, a campaign formed by over 60 advocacy groups that are pushing for New York City to build 24,000 units of affordable, permanent housing for the homeless by 2026. A number of Democratic politicians, including Councilman Stephen Levin, Public Advocate Jumaane Williams and Comptroller Scott Stringer, have also signed onto the campaign.