Six Months Later, Homeless New Yorkers Are Still Waiting on Cuomo
Today marks six months since Governor Cuomo’s State of the State address, in which he made an historic commitment to fund 20,000 units of desperately needed supportive housing over 15 years. The Governor announced on January 13th that the first 6,000 of those units would be funded in this year’s budget. Advocates and homeless New Yorkers applauded the Governor’s commitment to this proven solution, which breaks the cycle of chronic homelessness by pairing the stability of a home with vital on-site support services.
However, half a year since this bold announcement, the Governor has failed to fulfill his promise to homeless New Yorkers. The State budget approved in April did in fact set aside $1.9 billion for affordable and supportive housing – but those funds were subject to a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to be signed by the Governor, Assembly Speaker Heastie and Senate Majority Leader Flanagan. By the time the legislative session ended last month, the State leaders had managed only to reach a last-minute deal to release $150 million for 1,200 units of supportive housing – leaving the vast majority of the funds sitting unused and creating an unanticipated hurdle for the supportive housing developers trying to secure financing for new projects.
The 80,000 homeless people across New York State cannot wait any longer. Every day that passes without the Governor and legislative leaders signing an MOU for the remainder of the $1.9 billion creates a wholly unnecessary delay in constructing thousands of critically needed units – and puts the lives of New York’s most vulnerable citizens at risk. The money has already been approved, and all that is needed are signatures from three men. There is no excuse for these funds to be sitting idle while tens of thousands of New Yorkers languish in shelters and on the streets. It’s long past time for State leaders to keep their promise.
1) Call Governor Cuomo at 1-518-474-8390, ext. 3 and say: “Governor, keep the promise you made to the 80,000 homeless people and families in New York. Sign the full MOU NOW.”
2) Spread the word on social media using #SignTheMOU