New Poll Reveals Three-Quarters of New Yorkers Support Home Stability Support — Most Backing New Taxes to Pay For It

Seven out of ten voters think the State is handling the homelessness crisis poorly; survey shows voters want officials to support solving it with Home Stability Support

NEW YORK – According to the results of a new poll from ALG Research and Coalition for the Homeless, voters are in near-universal agreement that there is a true homelessness crisis in New York State. With homelessness at record levels, New Yorkers from around the state and across party lines support legislation in Albany to create a program called Home Stability Support (HSS), a common-sense remedy to the homelessness crisis that would bridge the difference between inadequate housing allowances for poor families and individuals and reasonable rents. HSS would enable homeless and at-risk New Yorkers to avoid or leave the shelter system by helping them to secure and retain homes of their own. It would also contribute to neighborhood stability and benefit taxpayers by preventing evictions, helping those fleeing unsafe homes, and reducing the use of costly shelters. The legislation would provide 14,000 new subsidies each year for those who are living in shelters and an estimated 80,000 households on the brink of homelessness.

“The big takeaway from this survey is that support for providing housing subsidies to homeless families and individuals cuts across geographic and political differences: Solving homelessness is not a partisan issue. From Long Island to Western New York the support for HSS is very strong,” said Shelly Nortz, Deputy Executive Director for Policy at Coalition for the Homeless. “The strength of the support is not all that surprising given the very strong bi- partisan support we have for our bill from lawmakers, hundreds of faith leaders and advocates, and scores of local officials, but it underscores a critical opportunity ahead for the Governor. Will Gov. Cuomo do what is right in this year’s budget, and join in the near-unanimous support for solving the homelessness crisis with HSS rent subsidies for our most vulnerable neighbors?”

“New Yorkers believe we’re in a homelessness crisis, and that the state government has failed to address it for the last decade. That’s why Democrats, Republicans, and independents in every part of the state want Home Stability Support in this year’s budget,” said Jeff Liszt, Partner at ALG Research.

Key Findings from the Poll:

  • Eighty-seven percent of voters agree that there is a homelessness crisis in New York State, compared with 8 percent who disagree.
  • Over half (56 percent) of voters believe the homelessness crisis has gotten worse in the past 10 years. Voters do not think the state is doing a good job of addressing homelessness – just 19% rate the government positively, while 72% rate the state’s handling of homelessness negatively.
  • One-quarter (25%) of New Yorkers said they have either experienced homelessness themselves (10%), have close friends and family who have experienced homelessness in the last year (20%), or both.
  • Two-thirds of voters (69 percent) say they would support increasing taxes on second homes worth over $5 million in order to fund the cost of HSS, which we estimated at up to $80 million for the first full year.
  • Three-quarters (74 percent) of New Yorkers support including Home Stability Support in the 2020 budget, and this support cuts across party lines (83 percent of registered Democrats, 56 percent of registered Republicans, and 71 percent of unaffiliated voters).
  • Over half of voters (51 percent) say they would be more likely to support an elected official who votes to include Home Stability Support in the 2020 budget over 11 percent who said they were less likely. In every region of the state, voters would be more likely to support someone who votes for HSS by at least a 32-point margin.

ALG Research conducted 1,000 live telephone interviews with likely 2020 general election voters in New York State between February 28 and March 5, 2020. Interviews were conducted on mobile and landline telephones. Respondents were selected at random and data were weighted for demographic and geographic representation. Expected margin of sampling error for these results is ±3.1% at a 95% confidence level and higher for subgroups.

HSS (S.2375/A.1620) is supported by more than 165 state legislators in the Assembly and Senate, dozens of local officials and Congressional Representatives, and hundreds of advocates, faith leaders, and other supporters. In addition to this broad support, the new poll shows that 74 percent of likely New York voters support including HSS in the 2020 budget.

Click here to read the full report.