The Real Deal New York

Spike in city’s homeless population is cramping brokers’ style

Some clients are turned off by properties frequented by panhandlers

October 14, 2015 11:30AM

Homeless shelter at 90 Lafayette Street

Homeless shelter at 90 Lafayette Street in Chinatown

An increase in the city’s homeless population is making New York City a harder sell to some prospective buyers.

The city’s homeless shelter population is the highest it’s been since the Great Depression, according to the Coalition for the Homeless. Some brokers lament that clients are more reluctant to buy or rent in certain neighborhoods, due to the fairly constant presence of homeless individuals around lobbies or outside certain buildings, DNAinfo reported.

Broker Philip Scheinfeld of Miron Properties told the website that a client poised to buy a loft in Chelsea listed for $2.5 million backed out after leaving the West 25th Street building.

“They saw a guy who didn’t have his shirt on, who was passed out face down with a beer in hand in broad daylight,” he said.

Other brokers recounted instances where clients were turned off by properties after they saw a homeless person nearby or were approached by someone asking for money.

More than 50,000 people slept in the city’s shelters Friday night, according to the Department of Homeless Services daily report. Earlier this year, Mayor Bill de Blasio pledged to spend $1 billion more on homelessness in the over the next four years. [DNAinfo] — Kathryn Brenzel