In her New York Times column this week, Ginia Bellafante highlights the secondary effects of Mayor Bloomberg’s failed homeless policies– the impact on small landlords.
“So rarely a figure of sympathy in the lore of New York, the landlord has emerged as another victim of the Bloomberg administration’s seemingly ad hoc approach to homeless policy.”
Right now, there are a record 41,000 homeless men, women, and children sleeping in New York City shelters each night. Additionally, the Bloomberg administration recently announced it would stop paying rent for the approximately 8,000 families still receiving subsidies under the Advantage program.
We’ve reported frequently enough on the impact the failed Advantage program continues to have on formerly homeless families. Thousands of households have now become homeless for a second time after their subsidies ended under the time-limited Advantage program. But here we are reminded that Mayor Bloomberg is not only ignoring the needs of the city’s poorest, but he is also putting small landlords at risk of financial ruin. The vast majority of the 8,000 households currently on Advantage will not be able to afford their rent going forward without the presence of a subsidy.
And yet, this is not even the worst part. The Bloomberg administration is putting homeless families and landlords at risk while there is a more effective and cheaper alternative ready and available for use tomorrow! Currently homeless families are listed at the top of the priority list for public housing and Section 8, but the City refuses to utilize this priority. Instead, they continue with their wildly misguided policy decision to block homeless families from receiving the one program that will truly address this homelessness crisis.
In light of Ms. Bellafante’s column, let Mayor Bloomberg be reminded that what affects homeless families affects all of us.