June 30, 2023

NYC’s shelter system reaches a record 100,000 occupants

New York City's shelter system has surpassed 100,000 occupants for the first time, more than half of whom are asylum seekers, city officials announced this week. NYC is currently spending roughly $8 million a day on its shelter system, which has expanded to include 166 new emergency facilities to accommodate the surge in asylum seekers that began in the spring of 2022. The city is expected to spend more than $4 billion on its shelter system by 2024, according to the New York Times.
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June 23, 2023

Adams vetoes NYC Council bills expanding rental assistance

Mayor Eric Adams has vetoed four City Council bills that would expand access to New York City's housing voucher program. Adams on Friday vetoed bills Intro. 229, Intro. 878, Intro. 893, and Intro. 894, claiming the legislation package, which was passed by the council last month, would cost the city an exorbitant amount of money and "make it harder" for homeless New Yorkers to find housing. The Council passed the legislation package late last month with a vote of 41 to 7, enough support to override the veto.
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June 16, 2023

Adams ends NYC’s 90-day shelter rule for homeless New Yorkers

Mayor Eric Adams on Friday ended a rule that had required unhoused people to spend at least 90 days in shelter before qualifying for rental assistance vouchers. The emergency rule change expands eligibility for the vouchers, called CityFHEPS, which will in turn house more New Yorkers and free up space in the shelter system for asylum seekers. The move by the mayor comes a few weeks after the City Council passed a comprehensive set of bills expanding rental assistance, including the end of the 90-day rule. Adams criticized the rest of the package, citing budget costs, but did not say if he plans to veto the legislation.
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May 26, 2023

NYC Council passes legislation expanding rental assistance

The New York City Council on Thursday passed a set of bills that will help house more New Yorkers and free up shelter space for asylum seekers. The legislation ends a rule requiring unhoused people spend at least 90 days in shelter before qualifying for a rental assistance voucher, known as CityFHEPS, and expands the number of people eligible for the vouchers. Mayor Eric Adams, who may attempt to veto the bill, said the legislation will cost the city billions over the next five years.
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April 20, 2023

NYC will repair 400 vacant rent-stabilized apartments to house homeless New Yorkers

New York City will invest up to $10 million to provide homeless New Yorkers with newly repaired, rent-stabilized homes. As part of the new "Unlocking Doors" program, the city will invest up to $25,000 for urgent renovations at 400 rent-stabilized homes that have fallen into disrepair and are unavailable for rent. The city will then match households with City Fighting Homeless and Eviction Prevention Supplement (CityFHEPS) vouchers with the new apartments.
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November 30, 2022

NYC to involuntarily hospitalize people with severe mental illness

Mayor Eric Adams announced on Tuesday an 11-point mental health legislative agenda for the next session in Albany aimed at addressing a growing need to provide care for people living on New York City's streets and subways with untreated severe mental illness. A controversial part of the new plan includes a directive for emergency medical workers to hospitalize those who are deemed too mentally ill to provide basic care for themselves, even if they pose no threat to the public.
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November 15, 2022

Adams announces overhaul of NYC’s housing voucher program

New York City officials are fighting the city's looming housing crisis with a few major policy changes. Mayor Eric Adams on Monday announced new housing reforms that will help homeless New Yorkers easily transition from the shelter system into affordable and supportive housing and give them access to housing in higher-income neighborhoods that have previously been out of reach for lower-income families.
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October 12, 2022

NYC wants developers to remove affordable units from lottery system to house homeless

New York City wants affordable housing developers to increase the number of homeless households accepted at their buildings as the shelter system capacity hits a record high amid an influx of asylum seekers in the city. As Crain's reported, Mayor Eric Adams' administration asked a group of developers to voluntarily remove units from the city’s housing lottery and "offer them up for homeless placements," as a way to free up space at shelters for migrants. The city says roughly 17,000 asylum seekers have arrived since the spring, with the shelter population reaching more than 61,000 people as of last week.
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May 3, 2022

City nixes plan for second Chinatown homeless shelter amid community opposition

In the second such move in less than a week, New York City has canceled plans for one of a handful of new homeless shelters in Chinatown, the New York Times reports. The planned "safe haven" shelter was to be located in the former Best Western Hotel at the corner of Grand Street and Bowery. The move follows months of vocal opposition to three planned shelters by community members who cite an increase in crimes targeting Asians and a similar announcement last Friday regarding the rollback of plans for a shelter nearby at 47 Madison Street.  
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April 27, 2022

Adams adds record $171M in budget to fund 1,400 shelter beds for homeless New Yorkers

Mayor Eric Adams on Sunday announced an additional $171 million for homeless services in his proposed executive budget for the fiscal year 2023. The mayor says the investment will pay for 1,400 Safe Haven and stabilization beds, small-scale alternatives to traditional shelter settings, the creation of three drop-in centers, and improving ongoing outreach efforts. The investment, which City Hall says would be the largest of its kind to be made by the city, will be allocated every year beginning next fiscal year.
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March 30, 2022

NYC has cleared over 230 homeless encampments in less than two weeks

Under Mayor Eric Adams' plan to crack down on street homelessness, the city has cleaned 239 homeless encampments since the program began less than two weeks ago. On Wednesday, the mayor, along with a task force made up of officials from the city's parks, sanitation, police, and homeless services departments, said the first phase of the city's effort to remove make-shift shelters from public spaces concluded, with the second phase, which will involve recanvassing the sites identified, beginning tomorrow.
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March 30, 2022

NYC opens safe haven site in the South Bronx for homeless New Yorkers

Mayor Eric Adams announced on Tuesday the opening of the Morris Avenue Safe Haven site in the Bronx. The new facility will expand shelter access with 80 beds as well as offer on-site medical, mental health, and substance abuse services to New Yorkers who need them. The new facility is part of Adams' Subway Safety Plan to add 500 low-barrier beds for homeless New Yorkers, with 350 of them to be made available this week.
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February 23, 2022

Mayor’s budget comes up short on housing and homelessness, NYC advocates say

Mayor Eric Adams released the city's preliminary budget for fiscal year 2023 last Wednesday, placing emphasis on public safety, employment, and aiding the plight of the city's youngest residents by addressing childcare and at-risk youth. While the mayor's safety-focused policy actions–prohibiting homeless people from sleeping in subway stations, for example–made headlines, advocates for equitable housing and the homeless say the proposed budget is a disappointment without a previously promised focus on those basic needs.
More on where the money's going, this way
February 18, 2022

NYC announces plan to stop homeless New Yorkers from sheltering on the subway

New York City will increase enforcement of certain rules in the subway system as part of a broader safety plan to address homelessness announced by Mayor Eric Adams and the MTA on Friday. The NYPD will boost their enforcement of the "rules of conduct," which includes the prohibition of lying down or sleeping in a way that interferes with others, exhibiting aggressive behavior, spitting, smoking, using drugs, and "using the subway for any purpose other than transportation," according to the 17-page plan. "No more just doing whatever you want," Adams said on Friday. "Those days are over. Swipe your MetroCard, ride the system, and get off at your destination."
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February 14, 2022

New York City’s housing experts have a wish list for Mayor Adams

Shortly after taking office last month, New York City Mayor Eric Adams introduced the team that will take the lead on affordable housing strategy, headed by Jessica Katz as the city’s chief housing officer. The announcement came not a moment too soon; rents and home prices continue to rise beyond the reach of many, while homelessness and eviction threats are a growing concern. In a city where the topic of housing is never far from view every day, New Yorkers are looking to the new mayor to address the issues they feel must change. 6sqft asked individuals and organizations involved in the city's housing and real estate sectors to offer an important "wish list" item they would like to see Adams address during his time in office.
A housing wish list from NYC to Mayor Adams, this way
January 7, 2022

Adams, Hochul will increase police presence in NYC subway system to combat homelessness and crime

Commuters will soon see more New York City police officers riding the subway, Gov. Kathy Hochul and Mayor Eric Adams announced Thursday. Hochul and Adams on Thursday laid out a new initiative to tackle homelessness by deploying teams of specially trained Safe Options Support officials. These "SOS" teams will consist of mental health professionals who will work with the city's outreach teams to assist homeless New Yorkers. To combat crime in the subway system, Adams has ordered the mobilization of more officers who will patrol stations and board trains to make visual inspections.
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January 6, 2022

Hochul’s sweeping New York recovery agenda addresses affordable housing crisis, homelessness

In her first State of the State address Wednesday, Gov. Kathy Hochul announced a sweeping agenda that would address housing affordability, equity, and stability by growing the state's affordable housing stock and expanding the housing supply. She also proposed a set of initiatives to address homelessness and housing instability. Hochul called the state's housing needs "a complex challenge that requires an all-levers approach."
See Hochul's housing proposals
May 28, 2021

NYC Council votes to boost value of housing vouchers for homeless New Yorkers

Under legislation approved by the New York City Council on Thursday, the value of rental assistance vouchers provided to homeless New Yorkers will increase, a major step in moving people out of shelters into permanent housing. Sponsored by Council Member Stephen Levin, the bill raises the city's rental subsidy, called CityFHEPS, from a maximum of $1,580/month to $2,217/month for a two-bedroom apartment for a family of three. Homeless advocates say this could help thousands more homeless families find permanent housing each year.
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April 30, 2020

In response to COVID homeless crisis, MTA bans wheeled carts and enacts one-hour subway limit

When the Daily News shared a photo of a homeless New Yorker on a subway car earlier this week, it drew much attention all the way up to Governor Cuomo. Yesterday, the governor called on the MTA to create a plan to solve the issue. In response, the MTA released a plan today that deals with three main points-- no person is permitted to remain in a station for more than an hour; during a public health emergency, no person can remain on a train or the platform after an announcement that the train is being taken out of service; and wheeled carts greater than 30 inches in length or width are banned.
April 13, 2020

NYC will move more homeless New Yorkers to empty hotel rooms to curb COVID-19 spread

Starting this week, about 2,500 individuals experiencing homelessness in New York City will be transferred from shelters to hotels, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced on Saturday. The single adults who will be prioritized for the hotel rooms will include seniors and those who tested positive for the coronavirus or have symptoms of the disease. The move comes as 340 homeless New Yorkers have tested positive for COVID-19 and 20 have died, according to the city's Department of Social Services.
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February 21, 2020

City’s plan for homeless housing includes 14-building conversion and luxury development vacancies

The city took some strides this week in the search to find shelter for a growing homeless population. First, the de Blasio administration announced it would turn to vacancies in new luxury developments to find homes for potentially hundreds of homeless New Yorkers, as Bloomberg reported. On Thursday, the Neighborhood Restore Housing Development Fund—a nonprofit that partners with the city for affordable housing projects—scooped up 14 buildings in upper Manhattan and the Bronx for $74 million. According to The Real Deal, the purchase will provide immediate housing for 224 homeless households.
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December 18, 2019

De Blasio unveils $100M plan to end long-term street homelessness

Mayor Bill de Blasio on Tuesday released a plan to get 3,600 homeless New Yorkers off city streets within five years. The six-point initiative adds new "safe haven" beds, creates 1,000 permanent units of housing, provides new health resources, and ramps up the city's outreach response. Named The Journey Home, the $100 million plan comes as the number of those experiencing homelessness in the city has reached the highest levels in nearly 100 years, with more than 60,000 people currently living in homeless shelters.
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December 13, 2019

NYC may set aside at least 15 percent of new apartments for homeless New Yorkers

The New York City Council and Mayor Bill de Blasio's administration have reached an agreement to provide more housing for homeless New Yorkers. As first reported by Politico, the legislation, expected to pass next week, would require developers of new housing developments that receive city financing to set aside at least 15 percent of units for homeless individuals and families. The new law could create about 1,000 new apartments each year for those experiencing homelessness.
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December 10, 2019

NYC and Newark agree to temporarily suspend controversial homeless relocation program

Update 12/10/19: After a long negotiation in federal court on Monday, Newark and New York have agreed to suspend the SOTA Program, Politico reported. "In the spirit of productive conservations and with the goal of moving toward an improved program, we will be temporarily pausing placements in Newark," de Blasio spokesperson Freddi Goldstein said in a statement. New York City will also send Newark a list of participants of the program and their addresses once an agreement is reached.  Newark officials are suing New York City and Mayor Bill de Blasio over the city's controversial Special One-Time Assistance (SOTA) Program that provides homeless shelter residents with free rent for a year if they leave NYC. More than 2,200 families have been placed in 62 New Jersey cities through the program, with over half ending up in Newark. Recent investigations have found that some families end up in "illegal and uninhabitable" apartments and are essentially forced to become dependent on Newark social services. The lawsuit was filed in federal court Monday, as NJ.com first reported, just weeks after Newark passed a law to make the program illegal and ban landlords from taking more than a month's worth of subsidized rent.
November 20, 2019

Plan moves forward to convert 14 more cluster sites into housing for 200 homeless families

In 2017, the de Blasio administration announced a five-year “Turning the Tide on Homelessness” plan to convert hundreds of cluster apartments, occupied by homeless families across the city, into permanently affordable units. Earlier this year, the City was able to complete the first phase of that plan by financing not-for-profit developers to acquire 17 buildings, rehabilitate them, and turn them into permanent affordable housing. Now the administration is moving forward with a second phase that will convert 14 more “cluster site” buildings. The first phase created housing for roughly 450 homeless families and the second phase is expected to aid another 200 families.

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