As Homeless Shelter Population Rises, Advocates Push Mayor on Policies

The homeless population in New York has risen to its highest numbers since the Great Depression. According to statistics from the Coalition for the homeless, debuted in the New York Times:

  • Last year( 2013)  was the first time the number of homeless people sleeping each night in shelters exceeded 50,000.
  • This year’s annual report by the Coalition for the Homeless, a nonprofit advocacy group, is worse: Newly homeless families entering the system increased by 12 percent; the number of homeless children sleeping in shelters rose by 8 percent, and single adults, 5 percent. The average stay for families with children stretched into 14.5 months, another record.
  • The coalition is pushing for more permanent housing solutions, including a five-year rent subsidy.

  • The coalition estimates that longer-term rent subsidies could cut the number of homeless families with children by 66 percent within four years.

  • The report also recommends helping at least 5,000 households each year by establishing a rental-assistance program funded by the city and state.

  • It recommends converting 3,000 low-income and moderate-income apartments, now used as short-term shelters, into affordable housing.

Mary Brosnahan, executive director of the Homeless Coalition, said advocates had been cheered by Mr. de Blasio’s early moves on homelessness policy and his emphasis on building more affordable housing, but she added that the rising population in shelters demanded urgency from City Hall.

To read this report by the Homeless Coalition, visit: 



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