Housing Advocates Stage Sit-In at City Hall to Demand Mayor de Blasio Build More Permanent Housing for Homeless New Yorkers
Advocates Demand Mayor’s Housing New York 2.0 Plan Include 30,000 Units for Homeless Households, with 24,000 to be Created through New Construction
Homelessness Crisis Still at Record Levels, with More Than 23,000 Children and All-Time Record 17,000 Single Adults Sleeping in Shelters Each Night
NEW YORK, NY – Homeless New Yorkers, elected officials, housing advocates, and supporters joined the Coalition for the Homeless, VOCAL-NY, Housing Works, Neighbors Together, and several other groups today as they staged a sit-in at City Hall to demand Mayor de Blasio dedicate 30,000 units of his affordable housing plan for homeless New Yorkers, including 24,000 units to be created through new construction.
The group also shed light on several false claims the Mayor has made regarding his Housing New York 2.0 plan, his work to remedy the homelessness crisis and the House Our Future NY Campaign.
The House Our Future NY Campaign, endorsed by 62 organizations, argues the Mayor’s Housing New York 2.0 plan is inadequate to address the city’s current record-breaking homelessness crisis. The Mayor’s current goal will build fewer than 200 new apartments for homeless households per year between now and 2026. On any given night, nearly 64,000 men, women and children are sleeping in city shelters – including a record 17,000 single adults – while thousands more bed down on the streets. The House Our Future NY recommendation would require the City to build 2,500 newly constructed apartments per year between now and 2026 specifically for homeless New Yorkers.
“Mayor de Blasio has proven time and again that he fails to see the reality every New Yorker sees: Our city is not providing enough affordable housing for our most needy. New York is grappling with a homelessness crisis that is hitting new records, and little is being done to meet the depth of this crisis,” said Giselle Routhier, Policy Director at Coalition of the Homeless. “Of the 300,000 units of housing to be created or preserved by the Mayor’s housing plan, a mere 5 percent will be set aside for homeless households. The Mayor must use all the tools he has available – including his affordable housing plan – to finally start reducing the number of our neighbors forced to turn to shelters or the streets.”
“It’s been two months since I confronted the Mayor at the YMCA, but over two years since I became homeless,” said Nathylin Flowers Adesegun, Community Leader at VOCAL-NY. “I put my body on the line today, because Mayor de Blasio says he’s ‘comfortable’ with his approach to dealing with the homelessness crisis. More than 63,000 people sleep in shelters every night and we do not have the comfort our Mayor is so privy to. I am heartened that Council Member Salamanca has shown true leadership and is willing to stand with us, when the Mayor refuses to do what’s right.”
“Sadly, there is plenty to fact-check the Mayor on, regarding his record on homelessness,” said Paulette Soltani, Housing Campaign Coordinator at VOCAL-NY. “His shameful record is hard to cover up: 63,000 people sleep in shelters every night and less than 1,700 homeless households have been housed in City-financed units in the past four years. Our city can be better, and homeless New Yorkers deserve better. We stand firm in our demand that the Mayor set aside 30,000 units of affordable housing, with 24,000 units of new construction.”
“Mayor de Blasio promised to end what he called ‘the tale of two cities.’ The rich getting richer and the poor getting poorer. So how come when we walk the streets and ride the subways we see more of our brothers and sisters calling them home. A bench on a subway platform or a piece of cardboard under a construction shed shouldn’t be the best the richest city in the nation can do for its citizens. The Mayor’s plan seems to be to add more shelters—well, we know that is not a plan or an answer,” said Andrew Coamey, SVP for Housing/Capital Development, Facilities and Construction Management at Housing Works.
“With over 63,000 men, women, and children sleeping in shelters each night, Mayor de Blasio must do more than pay lip service to how much he has helped homeless New Yorkers. Now is the time for him to show his progressive values through meaningful action, by dedicating 10% of his affordable housing plan or 30,000 units (including 24,000 units of new construction) to homeless families and single adults. At Neighbors Together we see every day how much this administration is failing our low-income neighbors; over 40% of the people we serve are homeless, and the Mayor’s current plan is insufficient. We call on him to adopt the recommendations of the House our Future New York campaign and create permanent affordable housing that matches the level of the current homelessness crisis in New York City,” said Denny Marsh, Executive Director at Neighbors Together.
Today, the Coalition for the Homeless released a white paper entitled “Housing DisConnect: Fact-Checking Mayor de Blasio’s Claims on Affordable Housing and Homelessness.” The report illustrates how Mayor de Blasio’s current housing plan falls far short of meeting the scale of the city’s tragic homelessness crisis, fact-checks some of the Mayor’s false claims regarding homelessness and his affordable housing plan and highlights the steps the Mayor needs to take to make a meaningful and historic reduction in record homelessness.
House Our Future NY is an advocacy campaign formed by the Coalition for the Homeless and 61 partner organizations, as well as homeless men, women, and children and other caring New Yorkers. The campaign calls for 30,000 new units of affordable, permanent housing for homeless New Yorkers by 2026, with 24,000 of these units to be created through new construction. In addition to the organizations signed on to the campaign, House Our Future NY has support from 32 Council Members, four Borough Presidents, the Public Advocate, and the Comptroller.
Visit www.coalitionforthehomeless.org/hofny for more information.
House Our Future NY Endorsing Organizations:
The Ali Forney Center
Arthur Ashe Institute for Urban Health
Banana Kelly Community Improvement Association, Inc.
Barrier Free Living
Broadway Housing Communities
Bronx Health & Housing Consortium
Care for the Homeless
Citizens’ Committee for Children
Coalition for Homeless Youth
Coalition for the Homeless
College and Community Fellowship
The Collegiate Churches of New York
Community Service Society
Covenant House New York
Emergency Shelter Network
Encore Community Services
Harm Reduction Coalition
Henry Street Settlement
Homeless Services United
Housing Conservation Coordinators
Hunger Action Network of NYS
Hunger Free America
Interfaith Assembly on Homelessness and Housing
Kingdom Faith Developers
The Legal Aid Society
Midtown South Community Council
Mutual Housing Association of NY (MHANY)
My Dog is My Home
National Working Positive Coalition
Neighborhood Coalition for Shelter
New Destiny Housing
New York Communities for Change
New York Society for Ethical Culture
New York State Council of Churches
Partnership for the Homeless
Picture the Homeless
Presbyterian Church (USA)
Services for the UnderServed
Sisters of Charity of New York
Society for the Advancement of Judaism
St Ann’s Church of Morrisania
Strong Families Deliverance Ministries Inc.
Tenants & Neighbors
Tenants Political Action Committee
University Settlement and The Door
Urban Justice Center
WE ACT For Environmental Justice