The Real Deal New York

De Blasio underestimating homeless population, advocate says

Coalition for the Homeless president says correct count is 6,000-12,000

October 19, 2015 06:15PM

Bill de Blasio

Bill de Blasio

The president of the nation’s oldest homelessness advocacy group accused the de Blasio administration of severely underestimating New York’s homeless population.

The true number of homeless people in the city is between 6,000 and 12,000, not the 3,000-4,000 estimated by the city, said Mary Brosnahan, who heads up the Coalition for the Homeless.

A City hall spokesperson defended the de Blasio administration’s tallying method. “Not everybody on the street is homeless,” the spokesperson told the New York Post. “The HOPE [Homeless Outreach Population Estimate] count is specifically aimed at counting those who are chronically homeless.”

The de Blasio team has scrambled to deal with the city’s rising homeless population over the last months. The city has pushed its controversial “cluster-site” program, which houses about 3,000 families in private buildings around the city. Officials also commandeered city hotels for use as auxiliary homeless shelters, mostly recently the Verve at 40-03 29th Street in Long Island City.

Brokers recently complained that the increase in the city’s homeless population is making it more difficult to sell some properties. [NYP]Ariel Stulberg