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Mayor de Blasio admits homelessness cannot be eliminated immediately.

After three years of blaming his predecessor, Mayor Bloomberg, for moving so slowly on housing the homeless, Mayor de Blasio finally admitted that it will take years to house so many homeless people. Of course, it is all Mayor Bloomberg's fault.

To add a different perspective, let us take a look at New York State and its inability to commit resources to the city's problem. During the Bloomberg administration, the state cut funding to the homeless from $164 million in FY2002 to $110 million in FY2012, a 33 percent cut.  In addition, the state cut the funding to one of the few programs to permanently house the homeless, the Advantage Program. Not only did the state cut the program, but the state also passed legislation that the city could not use other state funds for the program.

Then of course there is the federal government that has cut millions of dollars out of the public housing budget that houses so many of people in poverty. Thanks to the federal government, the New York Public Housing Authority, NYCHA, has operated in deficits for the past two decades.

Sometimes when we so easily condemn local elected officials who face countless demands on a limited budget, we forget that the city is a creature of the state and as such is not the master of its own destiny.

Now that the current mayor has discovered that housing the homeless is more difficult than he knew, he has decided to build more shelters. Instead of focusing on building permanent low-income housing/or and providing rent vouchers so those in poverty can find their own housing, Mayor de Blasio is going to build more temporary housing. The homeless do not need temporary housing; they need permanent housing which is what the mayor should be doing.

In addition, the mayor could stop NYCHA from evicting people who head straight for the shelters, and lastly, the mayor could op landlords from pushing out poor people from rent regulated apartments so that the landlords can charge market rates. That would be a fair better plan than what the mayor is going to do.


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