New Report Finds City’s Housing Plan Leaves Homeless Behind

Record Overall Housing Production Will Make Only Modest Impact on Homelessness, ‘Moment of Truth’ Shows

NEW YORK –  A new report from the Coalition for the Homeless released today shows that despite record levels of affordable housing preservation and creation in New York City, too few units are being set aside for homeless families and adults to make a meaningful reduction in record levels of homelessness.  The report, MOMENT OF TRUTH: Bringing Production of Affordable Housing for Homeless Households in de Blasio’s Housing Plan to Scale calls for 10% of the City’s housing plan to be set aside to address the homelessness crisis, a rate achieved by previous Mayors.

“Mayor de Blasio has taken some much-needed steps to combat homelessness, but with record numbers of families and children still sleeping in shelters, the City must do much more to provide our homeless neighbors with permanent, affordable homes,” said Giselle Routhier, Policy Director for the Coalition and author of the report.  “Of the 300,000 units of housing created or saved by the City’s housing plan, just over 3% will be set aside for homeless households, a paltry figure considering the depths of the homeless crisis.”

Mayor de Blasio’s Housing NY plan will create just 4,000 units of new construction set aside for homeless families. Of these, all but 600 are in contract, meaning very little new construction in the remaining 9 years of the plan will benefit homeless families.  To meet the 10% set-aside goal achieved by Mayor Ed Koch, the report calls on the City to devote 30,000 units of housing for the homeless, including 24,000 units of new construction available immediately to homeless families upon completion.  That would require an additional 2,000 units of housing built for the homeless in each year of the plan – an ambitious but achievable goal given the City’s capital commitments.

“New York City is set to spend billions on affordable housing over the next decade,” continued Routhier. “But unless more of that housing is targeted to homeless New Yorkers, we won’t see a meaningful reduction in homelessness.”

Currently, 63,169 men, women, and children sleep each night in NYC homeless shelters – a new all-time high. Over the course of fiscal year 2017, a record 129,803 unique individuals spent some time in a shelter, including over 45,000 children. Homelessness in New York City is now more prevalent than at any time since the Great Depression and has hovered at unprecedented levels for the past several years.

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