Building More Housing for the Homeless Would Save Us Money in the Long Run

Posted On Mon, September 21, 2015 By

Posted On Mon, September 21, 2015 By In Policy

Image via Wiki Commons

Today, proponents of building more supportive housing will meet with the de Blasio administration to convince them that New York is in dire need of 35,000 new housing units statewide—and both the state and city should fund it. Currently, there are over 80,000 individuals without homes, including a number here in the city who are employed but still have salaries too small to afford NYC’s skyrocketing rents. While there has been plenty of talk about how the issue needs remedying, action has yet to be taken. In an op-ed written this morning for Crain’sEnterprise Community Partners‘ Judi Kende sounds off on why, though we may think that building all these homes is way too expensive, ignoring the problem will cost us more financially in the long run.

Kende stresses that although taxpayers are not making an obvious or direct contribution to the problem, we do pay “in the form of emergency shelter, hospital visits, and jail stays.” The average cost per person who qualifies for supportive housing comes to more than $51,000 annually. Introducing 35,000 units of housing, with services included, would save $10,000 per unit per year. On top of that, such an initiative would create jobs for those involved in the construction and maintenance of the housing, and increase property values.

“Supportive housing is a triple-bottom-line solution,” Kende says. “It saves public money, spurs the economy, and most importantly solves a persistent social problem.”

Read more from her here.

[Via Crain’s]

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