Today’s Read: Homelessness is a Housing Problem

(COALITION FOR THE HOMELESS) Jacquelyn Simone, August 29, 2018 — In a comprehensive article for City & State, Ben Adler explains how a lack of affordable housing in New York City has fueled record homelessness. Citing historical data and research-backed policies, Adler writes, “Homelessness is mainly a housing problem, and it can only be reduced through comprehensive housing policy solutions.” He proposes affordable housing reforms that can help address the roots of the crisis, such as for the New York City government to “integrate housing and homelessness policy” because “no amount of spending on homelessness can put people into affordable apartments that do not exist.”

To amplify this message that housing is the answer to homelessness, the Coalition has joined together with dozens of other organizations and elected officialsto launch the House Our Future NY campaign. Currently, the Mayor’s Housing New York 2.0 affordable housing plan sets aside only 5 percent of the units for homeless households – nowhere near enough to even start to meet the tremendous need. We are calling on Mayor de Blasio to increase the number of units for homeless New Yorkers to 30,000, with 24,000 of those to be created through new construction.

Adler’s article explores the economic and political forces that led to record homelessness – and the impact on real New Yorkers, including Coalition clients, who have been pushed out of the housing market entirely: