Photo via Wikimedia
Over the past few years, homelessness in New York City has hit its highest levels since the Great Depression. According to the Coalition for the Homeless, over 60,500 homeless people slept in one of the city’s shelters in July. To reduce these numbers, Mayor de Blasio’s administration introduced a program this week that pays 12 months of rent upfront for homeless families who find an apartment outside of NYC, as WNYC reported.
The city has previously given out rent subsidies for homeless families to use within the five boroughs, but there are not enough apartments for everyone in need. This new program, run by the city’s Department of Homeless Services, is providing the subsidy for those who move out of New York. This week the department sent an email to shelter providers detailing availability at 17 apartments in Newark, New Jersey that can take in homeless families.
Buses took families from NYC shelters to Newark to look at the apartments. A spokesperson for the city told WNYC, programs like this one provide a “cost-effective strategy to help New Yorkers back on their feet.”
Last spring, as 6sqft previously reported, the city created stricter eligibility requirements for shelters, denying many homeless families a place to stay. Only 38 percent of families seeking shelter through the Department of Homeless Services were approved in February of 2017, a 50 percent drop from the same time the year before.
- 50 percent fewer homeless families being admitted to shelters after new requirements
- Mayor de Blasio to unveil plan to open 90 new homeless shelters amid growing community opposition
- Homeless spending in NYC doubles over three years, likely to hit $2.3B