With each passing week the level of homelessness in New York City continues to surge to new record highs. In fact, the number of homeless people checking into NYC shelters each night is up 85% just since 2010 and currently stands at the highest level since the Great Depression of the 1930s. Ironically, the increase in homelessness experienced during the "great recession" of 08/09 was just a blip on the radar compared to the past five years as residential rental rates in NYC have soared.
As CBS points out, while some on the city council of New York City have called for more government support to curb homelessness, efforts taken by Mayor Bill de Blaso have been largely ineffective so far.
The number of homeless people living in New York City has reached a record-high.
“It’s definitely something that we cannot stand for as a city,” NYC Council Speaker Melissa Mark Viverito said.
In an interview with CBS2, Viverito offered a number of suggestions, including the expansion of the “Living In Communities” (LINC) voucher program that provides money to move families out of a shelter and into permanent housing. But, she said there’s a hitch.
“I think the challenge that we’ve seen with the current voucher program, subsidy program, the LINC program, is for a very short period of time, there may be some hesitancy by landlords to engage with the city on it,” she said.
The week before, former NYC Council Speaker Christine Quinn, who now runs a well-respected homeless program called “WIN,” called for appointing a czar to oversee the creation of permanent housing options.
Viverito said there is no need to create a new position.
“I think we have to not keep adding layers of bureaucracy here,” she said. “I think we have to look at what we have in place.”
As the Coalition for the Homeless points out, while the number of sheltered individuals in NYC is at it's highest levels since the 1930s, there are 1,000s of "unsheltered" homeless that are also sleeping in public spaces each night making it impossible to tally exactly how many New Yorkers are actually homeless.
Meanwhile the number of homeless families has also nearly doubled since 2006...In recent years, homelessness in New York City has reached the highest levels since the Great Depression of the 1930s.
Research shows that the primary cause of homelessness, particularly among families, is lack of affordable housing. Surveys of homeless families have identified the following major immediate, triggering causes of homelessness: eviction; doubled-up or severely overcrowded housing; domestic violence; job loss; and hazardous housing conditions.
Each night thousands of unsheltered homeless people sleep on New York City streets, in the subway system, and in other public spaces. There is no accurate measurement of New York City’s unsheltered homeless population, and recent City surveys significantly underestimate the number of unsheltered homeless New Yorkers.
African-American and Latino New Yorkers are disproportionately affected by homelessness. Approximately 58 percent of New York City homeless shelter residents are African-American, 31 percent are Latino, 7 percent are white, less than 1 percent are Asian-American, and 3 percent are of unknown race/ethnicity.
...and includes over 24,000 children sleeping in shelters each night.
Finally, just illustrate the dire consequences of New York's skyrocketing rents we offer up the following statistics from Mayor Bill De Blasio's Fiscal 2016 "Mayor's Management Report" highlighting a 42% increase in applications for "Emergency Rent Assistance" from New York City families at risk of losing their housing.
If this is what a "recovery" looks like to Obama we would certainly like to better understand how he would define a recession.