Veto-Proof Majority of City Council Members Support Bill to Create More Housing for Homeless New Yorkers

Last Tuesday, an important City Council bill reached the critical veto-proof milestone of 34 cosponsors. Council Member Rafael Salamanca Jr. initially sponsored Intro. 1211 just a few months ago: It would require developers who receive City financial assistance for housing preservation and new construction to set aside at least 15 percent of units in each project for homeless individuals and families.

The bill would establish a crucial mechanism needed to reach the House Our Future NY goal of securing 30,000 units of City-financed affordable housing for homeless New Yorkers, including 24,000 units to be created through new construction.

This House Our Future NY Campaign is endorsed by more than 60 organizations as well as the majority of City elected officials – including the Comptroller, four Borough Presidents, and the majority of Council Members, all of whom agree we need much more housing created specifically for homeless individuals and families. With 63,636 men, women, and children sleeping in shelters each night, it is time to enact the bold solutions required to deliver deeply subsidized affordable housing for those most in need.

A recent op-ed by outgoing Deputy Mayor Alicia Glen claims Mayor de Blasio’s current housing plan is working, but the numbers don’t lie: Fewer than 1,700 homeless households moved out of shelters into HPD set-aside units in the past four years and just 6 percent of all units financed since the start of the plan have been for homeless households, even as homelessness continues to reach new record highs. New Yorkers understand that homelessness will not decrease without a sufficient supply of housing affordable to homeless New Yorkers, the central objective of both House Our Future NY and Intro. 1211. Now we need Mayor de Blasio to join with the rest of our leaders, adjust his housing plan, and produce the homes so desperately needed by our homeless neighbors.