Today’s Read: de Blasio’s Plan to Fight Homelessness Won’t Do Much

The number of New Yorkers sleeping in shelters each night has reached a new record high amidst an unrelenting affordable housing crisis. Unfortunately, Mayor de Blasio’s plan to tackle the problem – his Housing NY plan – leaves homeless New Yorkers in the lurch by allocating just 3 percent of units to homeless individuals and families.

A new Coalition for the Homeless report, Moment of Truth: Bringing Production of Affordable Housing for Homeless Households in de Blasio’s Housing Plan to Scale, analyzes Mayor de Blasio’s housing goals. Of the 300,000 units of housing to be created or preserved via the City’s housing plan, just 10,000 units will be set aside for homeless households – including only 4,000 units to be newly constructed. In contrast, at a time when the shelter census was just a fraction of what it is today, Mayor Koch created nearly 15,700 units of homeless housing – constituting more than 10 percent of the units in his 10-year plan.

To meet the unprecedented scale of the need, Mayor de Blasio can and must devote 10 percent of his housing plan for homeless New Yorkers: 30,000 units of housing for the homeless, including 24,000 units of new construction available immediately to homeless families upon completion. This can be achieved through building an additional 2,000 units of housing for homeless individuals and families in each remaining year of the plan, which is ambitious but feasible given the City’s unprecedented capital commitments.

Add your name to the campaign: Sign our petition to urge Mayor de Blasio to dedicate 30,000 units of permanent housing to help homeless New Yorkers!

Jillian Jorgensen covered the Coalition’s new housing campaign for the Daily News:

“We have to tie it to what the need is — and that is reducing the homelessness that is currently at record levels,” Giselle Routhier, policy director of the Coalition for the Homeless, told the Daily News.

“I think the big thing is really getting folks to understand how little will be done at the end of this plan, given the scale of the plan and the scale of homelessness,” she said.

The number of New Yorkers sleeping in shelters has ballooned to more than 60,000. The 10,000 units set aside for the homeless isn’t enough, she argued — especially because only 4,000 would be new construction. The rest are existing units that will be preserved.

The group notes that the city’s last ambitious housing plan, launched by Mayor Ed Koch, set aside 10% of its units for the homeless.