NYC Independent Budget Office: City Council Plan Will Reduce Homelessness AND Save Taxpayer Dollars

Today the NYC Independent Budget Office (IBO) released its analysis of the plan advanced by Speaker Christine Quinn and the New York City Council that would target Federal housing assistance to help homeless children and families leave shelters. And the IBO found that the plan would both reduce homelessness AND save millions in taxpayer dollars otherwise spent on costly shelter.

The full IBO analysis, which was requested by Coalition for the Homeless, can be found here. Following is an excerpt of the key findings, along with our statement on the report:

IBO found that implementing the policy outlined in the City Council proposal would result in a net reduction in the family shelter census, despite a decline in the number of families that would leave shelter on their own without a subsidy and a slight increase in the number of families entering the shelter system.

IBO found that savings would be proportional to the number of placements made. Family shelter costs would be reduced by a total of $14.7 million with 2,500 placements and $29.4 million with 5,000 placements. With family shelter funding shared between the federal, state, and city governments, slightly more than a third of the reduction, about $5.5 million and $11.0 million, respectively, would reflect savings for the city.  [Emphasis added.]

Mary Brosnahan, the Coalition’s executive director, released the following statement in response to the IBO analysis:

“New York’s Independent Budget Office has confirmed what common sense and years of experience have made clear: by returning to proven, cost-effective strategies to move homeless families into affordable homes, we can save millions of taxpayer dollars and begin to reverse New York’s unprecedented homelessness crisis right now.

“With budgets tight and homeless shelter populations at record and rising levels, the Bloomberg Administration is out of excuses. It’s time for the Mayor to reverse course and work with Speaker Quinn and the City Council to find sensible solutions to reduce homelessness.”

To sign on to the letter urging Mayor Bloomberg to adopt the City Council plan, please click here.

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