VICTORY! New York’s Highest Court Blocks Dangerous Bloomberg Homeless Policy

Today’s ruling by the New York State Court of Appeals blocks Mayor Bloomberg’s dangerous and misguided proposal to deny emergency shelter to thousands of homeless men and women each year.

The ruling, which can be found here (PDF), upheld two previous court decisions in this two-year-old legal struggle and blocks Mayor Bloomberg’s proposed rules to implement shelter denial rules for women and men seeking emergency shelter. The New York City Council joined Coalition for the Homeless and the Legal Aid Society in challenging how the proposed rules violated the New York City Charter, and today’s decision involved that case.

We wrote about these misguided shelter-denial rules here and here, and detailed background on the proposed rules can be found in our November 2011 City Council testimony here (PDF).

Mary Brosnahan, President & CEO of Coalition for the Homeless, issued the following statement today:

“Today’s Court of Appeals ruling is a tremendous victory for all New Yorkers. When Mayor Bloomberg proposed new rules to deny shelter to our most frail neighbors, we knew that it would undoubtedly result in many more homeless people sleeping on our streets – and we are so very grateful New York’s highest court effectively stopped the mayor in his tracks.

“Bloomberg administration officials themselves testified that the proposed rules would indeed deny life-saving, emergency shelter to thousands of homeless women and men each year. We now look forward to Mayor-elect de Blasio scrapping these disastrous rules for good.

“Thank you to the Court of Appeals for their unanimous ruling – a Thanksgiving gift of compassion and sanity for ALL New Yorkers – especially those who face this holiday season with no place to call home. This ruling upheld two previous court decisions, and we are extraordinarily grateful to the New York City Council and Speaker Christine Quinn for joining us to oppose these misguided rules.”

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