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Housing Subsidies: One Key to Addressing Homelessness in New York City

Housing Subsidies: One Key to Addressing Homelessness in New York City

Helping homeless children and families and reducing the number of children living in homeless shelters are critical issues for the de Blasio administration to tackle. We are releasing an issue brief today with recommendations for creating a new housing subsidy program in New York City.

Unfortunately, the task in front of the new Administration will not be easy, given that homelessness is at an all-time high. The report illustrates how the lack of a large-scale rent subsidy program has contributed to this increase: Without this type of large-scale assistance, families with children have an extremely difficult time moving from homeless shelters in to permanent housing. The result is that families are living in shelters for increased periods of time.

We believe that reducing the number of children and families in the shelter system will require a multi-faceted approach. A critical component of helping some families exit the shelter system in a timely manner needs to be a new housing subsidy program. Not only will this bring much-needed stability to families, but it will save taxpayers money because the average shelter costs $3,000 per month while a subsidy is typically about $1,000 per month.

In preparation for the new Administration, CCC researched current and past housing subsidy programs and spoke to key stakeholders about what they believed a new housing subsidy program should look like. The white paper we are releasing today provides an overview of these programs and makes recommendations for the creation of a new program.

We look forward to working with our colleagues and the new administration to advance a housing subsidy proposal at the State and City level. We also look forward to working with our colleagues to address affordable housing, supportive housing, access to NYCHA public housing, and other policies and programs that will prevent homelessness and help those who become homeless. Read more about these recommendations in the United to End Homelessness transition plan.

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