When I Was Homeless: How It Scarred Me, and What the City Must Do to Help More People Lift Themselves Out

“Forget this. I’m going home.”

It’s the little things that remind you how big your blessings are. As much as I wanted to go to ShopRite and get the one-pound bag of baby carrots on sale for 50 cents, it had been a long, hot day and I was tired and sweaty. But when I told myself “I’m going home,” the magnitude of my words really hit me.

‘Drop in the Bucket’: The State of Affordable Housing in de Blasio’s New York

Mayor Bill de Blasio took office in 2014 in a city reeling from a housing crisis. It was hemorrhaging tens of thousands of rent-stabilized apartments each year, public housing was crumbling, and a record 53,000 people were staying in city homeless shelters.

De Blasio vowed to turn that around, pledging to “create or preserve” 200,000 units of “affordable housing” within 10 years, last November upping that number to 300,000 by 2026. Yet the most direct routes there were blocked. State law prohibits the city from strengthening rent regulations or their enforcement, and a combination of finances and federal law bar it from building new housing on its own.

New York City’s Affordable Housing Push Leaves Out Key Group — Homeless Individuals and Families

Once again, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio is touting record affordable housing created by his administration. A press release from his office two weeks ago trumpeted that Fiscal Year 2018 was the “largest year for affordable housing production in city’s history.”

But a look behind the numbers shows that a strikingly small number of these affordable homes will be given to those who need them most: the 62,000 New Yorkers, including 22,500 children, who are sleeping in city shelters tonight.

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