The de Blasio administration continues to grapple with near-record homelessness and the legacy of a 90 percent rise in the shelter census after the Bloomberg administration eliminated permanent housing options for homeless New Yorkers. Although de Blasio’s reinstatement of housing assistance has caused the census to level off somewhat, it might take time to see a significant decrease. As City Limits reported:
According to Giselle Routhier, policy director at Coalition for the Homeless, the administration’s policy of giving shelter residents priority for public housing has made a difference for homeless families with children. A greater share of homeless single adults and adult families, however, face mental health challenges and will stand to benefit when the administration follows through with its plan to build supportive housing.
The Coalition continues to advocate for proven, housing-based solutions to homelessness. The City has taken key steps toward stemming the tide – substantially increasing homelessness prevention and reinstating permanent affordable housing options for homeless families – but more must be done to alleviate the suffering of our homeless neighbors. Importantly, the City cannot bear the full burden alone. The scale of the crisis demands a robust, collaborative effort by both the City and the State, including the realization of new units of State-funded supportive housing this year.