Will this City Hall shake up help solve New York's homeless problem? - Metro US

Will this City Hall shake up help solve New York’s homeless problem?

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The embattled head of the the city’s Department of Homeless Services, Commissioner Gilbert Taylor, will be leaving his post at the end of the year, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced yesterday.

The news came buried in an announcement about a “comprehensive review” of the city’s homeless service agencies and programs.

Taylor’s exit came as the de Blasio administration continues to confrontvociferous criticismover New York’s burgeoning homeless population.

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While Taylor lamentedin a press statementthat “there is never a good time to leave a position such as this one,” he nonetheless is glad to have served the public.

“I feel good about how far I have been able to advance the work of this agency,” Gilbert said, “and [am] committed to working with this administration to assist with this transition.”

The Coalition for the Homeless said that the city’s municipal shelter population “is now 86 percent higher than it was ten years ago” and that nearly 60,000 people live in the shelter system.

That same organizationreportsthat “thousands” of others live on the street with “a large majority … living with mental illness or other severe health problems.”

Men make up at least 80 percent of New York’s street population.

Announcing the shakeup, de Blasio said Taylor will continue to serve the city in an advisory role.

RELATED:NYPD in talks with city attorneys to reexamine homeless laws, Bratton says

The City said the DHS review “will begin immediately” and be led by Human Resources Adminstration Commissioner Steve Banks and First Deputy Mayor Anthony Shorris.

Banks will oversee both the Department of Homeless Services along with his current post starting in January.

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