Mayor Bill de Blasio has launched an $11 million war on homelessness and he’s seeking to house thousands. Yet city landlords remain wary.
Last month, the city began making robocalls to landlords, asking them to house homeless families from the shelter system. In the 45-second taped call, the mayor says that landlords who take him up on his offer will receive a $1,000 signing bonus.
“We’re calling landlords and asking them if they have vacant apartments,” Rick Fromberg, a senior advisor to the mayor, who runs the landlord phone bank, told WNYC.
The city hopes to move some 6,000 families into private housing by September, according to WNYC. As of Monday, there were some 57,089 people living in shelters.
The city created the program, dubbed LINC, last year to get the homeless out of shelters and into private apartments. It’s paying at least 70 percent of the rent for those who qualify.
Still, many landlords remain wary of both city bureaucracy and troublesome tenants. Nevertheless, city officials are hopeful that property owners will do their part.
“We are in a war against homelessness,” said Deputy Mayor Lilliam Barrios-Paoli. “It’s not an acceptable status, so yes, we have to be very focused and very targeted and very serious about it because it is not a good thing for anyone to be in that situation.” [WNYC] – Christopher Cameron