DeBlasio’s New Plan for Homeless Housing in New York City

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Meredith Bushman, Staff Writer

Unfortunately, since De Blasio took office as the Mayor of New York City in 2014, there has been a spike in the number of homeless in New York City. According to a study conducted by the Department of Housing and Urban Development, there has been an increase of nine thousand people in homeless shelters in the three years that De Blasio has been in office.

The resolution to this ongoing issue in the past has been ‘cluster sites’. Cluster sites are privately owned apartments that have been reserved for those in need of shelter.

However, the use of these cluster sites has been faced with much opposition by the community. These apartments are often decrepit, run down, and unsafe to live in. Last year, two young girls died as a result of inadequate housing in a cluster site.

Also, the cost of the apartments is paid for by the city, and the landlords feel as if this warrants them increasing the rent to obscene levels. In a study done by the Department of Investigation, it was discovered that the average cost of an apartment in a cluster site per month is $2,451, whereas other housing options in poor and working class neighborhoods ranges from $528-$1,200.

De Blasio’s plan aims to put an end to the landlords taking advantage of the system and provide a better living option to those in need. This plan would help turn the apartments into affordable housing owned by the city, instead of private landlords.

To do this, De Blasio hopes to use public financing to help nonprofits buy some of the cluster housing. This would in turn keep the homes in control of the city, so they are not manipulated by the landlords, and take a stride to resolving the homeless crisis.

If landlords do not comply it is expected that the city will use eminent domain to gain control of the property.