The rise of homelessness in New York continued it’s seemingly unstoppable expansion this year, setting a new record of 58,913 people in shelters. The number of homeless people has been rising consistently over the last decade with a 73% increase during the Bloomberg administration.
Mayor Bill De Blasio has promised a major overhaul of the system and according to First Deputy Mayor Tony Shorris, their plans are still on track. Shorris tells WNYC, “Many of the programs the Mayor said he wanted to put in place have begun to be put in place, and we’ve begun the re-design of the homeless system in every aspect of it.”
The city is hoping a new rent subsidy program will help stem the problem, but there are no estimates on a time frame for the program to achieve any specific changes. Most participants will pay 30% of their income for rent and the rest is being covered by the city for three to five years. The program launched in September but many claimed that they were having a difficult time getting landlords to accept the subsidies, leading the administration to increase how much the city would pay.
According to WNYC:
Mary Brosnahan, president of the Coalition for the Homeless, predicts the administration’s efforts will shrink the shelter population starting next summer, breaking the cycle the city has been caught up in for years.
“I think that they’ve done tremendously in terms of changing the whole rubric and the approach to homelessness and believe very much that it will pan out and work to get more families out,” Brosnahan said.
(Photo: Turnstile Hopper)