Coalition for the Homeless Statement on Homeless Crisis During the Holidays

NEW YORK, NY – Roughly 63,000 New Yorkers, including nearly 24,000 children, will spend this holiday season in homeless shelters. Thousands more will bed down on the frigid streets. Homelessness in New York City is now at its highest level since the Great Depression.

Over the course of City fiscal year 2017, more than 130,000 New Yorkers found themselves homeless at some point. This includes more than 45,000 children. Roughly 10% of New York City public school students experienced homelessness over the past year, sleeping either in a shelter or doubled-up in overcrowded apartments.

The crisis is deep – but the solutions are clear.  Studies show that helping homeless families and individuals move into affordable permanent housing is the only cost-effective, humane, and long-term solution to mass homelessness.

What New York City and State Must Do:

  • Develop at least 10,000 additional new construction units of affordable housing specifically for homeless individuals and families over the next five years and sustain that level of new unit production for homeless households (at least 2,000 additional units per year) through 2026.
  • Increase the number of public housing placements for homeless families from 1,500 per year to at least 3,000 and the number of Section 8 and HPD resources to at least 2,500 placements.
  • Quickly open new units of supportive housing under the Mayor’s 15-year, 15,000-unit commitment.
  • Aggressively enforce the source-of-income anti-discrimination law with landlords who illegally reject families and individuals seeking to use housing vouchers to help pay their rent.
  • Implement Assembly Member Hevesi’s proposal to create a State-funded long-term rent subsidy program, known as Home Stability Support.

How New Yorkers Can Help:

  • Support the Coalition’s frontline programs that provide emergency food and clothing, eviction prevention, crisis services, permanent housing, job training, and youth programs to thousands of homeless and poor New Yorkers each and every day.
  • Volunteer your time to help.
  • As the temperature begins to plummet, show compassion toward our homeless neighbors who may need immediate help.  See our What Should I Do If…? page.
  • Follow and support the Coalition’s advocacy work and help bring an end to this shameful crisis once and for all.