Cuomo criticizes de Blasio again on homelessness issue

Governor says "system is clearly not well-run and is clearly dangerous"

From left: Andrew Cuomo and Bill de Blasio
From left: Andrew Cuomo and Bill de Blasio

In the latest squabble between the two leaders, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said the homelessness crisis is getting worse and placed the blame squarely on Mayor Bill de Blasio’s management of the homeless shelter system.

“The system is clearly not well-run and is clearly dangerous,” Cuomo said at an unrelated press conference Thursday. “And the state has an affirmative role, to remedy that situation and that’s what we’re in the process of doing.”

Cuomo said homelessness is a “growing problem” and a crisis that is “getting worse,” Politico reported.

The number of people using the shelter system has remained around 58,000 for the roughly past year, according to Politico.

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Two recent incidents — a man was fatally stabbed at an East Harlem shelter in January, and a woman and her two children were murdered at a Staten Island facility that was used as a shelter last month — were cited as indications of the system’s safety issues.

“The homeless don’t want to go into the shelter system. I’ve heard that from providers, shelter operators, I’ve heard it from homeless people who say, ‘I’m afraid to go into the shelters and I’d rather stay on the streets than go into the shelters.’ It’s true. It’s not that the homeless people are wrong. They happen to be right. It is dangerous to go into the shelters,” said Cuomo, as reported by Politico.

The state has stepped up its number of inspections for the city’s shelter system, according to Politico.

De Blasio recently appointed the former Commissioner of Homeless Services, Gilbert Taylor, as a Family Court judge. Taylor quit his post around three months ago as the city struggled to limit the surge in homelessness. [Politico]Dusica Sue Malesevic