Homeless advocacy coalition releases policy guide for next NYC mayor

homeless election mayor
A coalition of homeless advocates released a policy guide Monday advising the new mayor and City Council on how to address increasing homelessness.
Credit: Spencer Platt/Getty Images

Hoping to put pressure on the next crop of lawmakers, a coalition of homeless advocates released a policy guide Monday advising the new mayor and City Council on how to address the growing problem of homelessness.

More than 57,000 people live in shelters and sleep on sidewalks, public transit or parks, the coalition said, and this number continues to increase.

While the human cost is staggering, the coalition also notes the Department of Homeless Services oversees a $1 billion budget. The city spends more than $2,000 per single adult and roughly $3,000 for every homeless family each month, according to estimates from the Independent Budget Office and shelter records.

To tackle this social and fiscal problem, the coalition has proposed “solutions-based” policies — those based on research and other success stories in other cities.

One such proposal includes creating an Interagency Council on Homelessness, uniting the dozen or so agencies with programs impacting the homeless, including the corrections, finance and health departments.

The policy book cites certain areas where the next mayor and City Council can decrease homelessness, most notably by creating more affordable housing and implementing preventive programs.

The coalition urges the next mayor to create a similar rent subsidy program to Advantage, which the city ended in 2011 over state funding concerns. Many advocates believe the end of that subsidy program exacerbated the current rise.

“Poor policy choices helped create modern day homelessness, and better public policy can end it,” Bobby Watts, executive director of Care for the Homeless, said in a statement on the policy book’s release.

Republican mayoral candidate Joe Lhota has said that focusing on job creation is the solution to rising levels of homeless in the city and even suggested he supports amending the state constitution to guarantee the right to shelter for everyone.

The coalition’s policy book, though it stresses shelter is not the solution to homelessness, says ensuring shelter through this law should even be expanded to include runaway and homeless youth as well as domestic violence shelters.

For his part, Democratic candidate Bill de Blasio would reduce “bureaucratic red tape” preventing New Yorkers from accessing shelter.

His policy book also says he would create a new support program for at-risk families.

Follow Anna Sanders on Twitter: @AnnaESanders


News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

Aria Health Torresdale workers caught selling prescription drugs

Two Aria Health at Torresdale employees were fired amid accusations they sold prescription drugs out of the Northeast Philadelphia campus.

National

Rubin 'Hurricane' Carter died Sunday from prostate cancer…

Former U.S. professional boxer Rubin "Hurricane" Carter, who spent 19 years in prison for murder and then was released after it was determined he did not get a fair trial,…

National

Florida man charged with murdering son to play…

A Florida man annoyed that his 16-month-old crying son was preventing him from playing video games suffocated the toddler, police said on Friday.

International

Powerful 7.2 magnitude earthquake rattles Mexico

A powerful earthquake struck Mexico Friday, shaking buildings and sending people running into the street, although there were no reports of major damage.

Television

'Orphan Black' recap: Episode 1, ‘Nature Under Constraint…

Welcome to your first Season 2 “Orphan Black” recap! Hopefully Tatiana Maslany can help Tatiana Maslany get through this, with the help of Tatiana Maslany,…

Books

Poems from prison: 'How to Survive a Bullet…

Celebrate National Poetry Month with, "'How to Survive a Bullet to the Heart."

Entertainment

Whoopi Goldberg makes her debut as marijuana columnist

"It helps my head stop hurting, and with glaucoma your eyes ache, and she takes the ache out. It's wonderful," she said.

The Word

Kate Middleton made fun of Prince William's bald…

Kate Middleton and Prince William are in Sydney, Australia, right now, and it sounds like that brash Aussie sense of humor might be rubbing off.

MLB

Phillies notebook: Cole Hamels returns this week

The Phillies should receive a big boost when Cole Hamels returns during the Dodgers series.

MLB

Jimmy Rollins is key to Phillies success

When John Kruk was asked about what the Phillies need to contend for a playoff berth, the ESPN analyst said Jimmy Rollins needs to play like a MVP again.

MLB

Ben Revere lifts Phillies to avoid sweep

Ben Revere came through with a two-out RBI single against Atlanta’s tough lefthander Alex Wood.

NBA

Season wrap: 76ers make the grade

The 76ers opened the 2013-14 season with a victory over the Miami Heat. The Sixers closed the season with a win at Miami.

Travel

Live large at these luxury hotels

From Thai boxing lessons and macabre Dracula tours to the Australian Outback, the Four Seasons hotel chain launched a series of new travel packages this…

Parenting

4 things that every summer camp should have

Alan Saltz, director of the 92nd street Y program lists things that every summer camp should have.

Parenting

Is camp right for introverts?

We ask an expert for tips on sending your introverted child to camp

Parenting

How to parent without gender stereotypes in a…

Christia Spears Brown, Phd. author of "Parenting beyond Pink & Blue" gives advice on raising kids free of gender stereotypes.