Housing advocates are blaming Gov. Andrew Cuomo for record-high homelessness in the city.
The Coalition for the Homeless issued a new report that says the governor has failed to come through on his promise to create 20,000 new supportive housing apartments, the New York Daily News reported. The state budget included $1.9 billion for supportive and affordable housing, but Albany has so far only agreed to release $150 million. The rest of the funds depend on Cuomo, Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie and Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan agreeing to a memorandum of understanding on how the money will be spent.
The number of single adults living in homeless shelters reached 14,442 in March, an all-time high for the city, the group reported. As of June, more than 14,200 were living in shelters. The number of people placed in supportive housing has dropped since 2014, when 2,172 people were placed. In 2016, that number is projected to drop to 1,626, the group said.
“The money is still sitting there, and progress can’t be made,” Coalition for the Homeless policy director Giselle Routhier told the newspaper. “We’ve seen that when the governor wants to get something done, it typically gets done.”
A spokesperson for Cuomo said the governor’s supportive housing plan is on track and the $150 million investment is merely the first phase of the program. [NYDN] — Kathryn Brenzel