(DNAINFO) Jeff Mays | December 31, 2015 — Even as Mayor Bill de Blasio touted an announcement by the federal government that New York City has ended “chronic veteran homelessness,” veteran advocates said officials should hold off on taking a victory lap.
A Dec. 29 letter from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, the Department of Veterans Affairs, and the United States Interagency Council on Homelessness said the city has ended what is defined as chronic veteran homelessness.
That means that veterans with a disability who have been homeless for a year or longer or who have experienced four episodes of homelessness over the past three years, have either been housed or are on a path to being housed.
“The brave women and men who valiantly protected our nation abroad should never be left without a home. Today, we have ensured that those in the veteran community who have struggled to find and remain in housing time and time again will have a stable place to call home,” de Blasio said in a statement.
But the designation excludes the approximately 600 veterans living in Department of Homeless Services shelters and the 760 remaining homeless veterans. Two hundred of those veterans in DHS shelters are slated to move out in January. There are also five homeless veterans who have been offered housing but have declined to accept.