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Fixed Adam’s Vow after leaving 2,000 dwellings empty for the homeless

Mayor Eric Adams vowed on Wednesday to fix the bureaucratic nightmare that has left 2,500 city-funded apartments for New York’s homeless vacant as City Hall comes under pressure to make progress on its high-profile plans to tackle the Big Apple’s homelessness crisis .

Hizzoner’s comments came two days after The Post revealed the dysfunction in the city’s human resources department, where key parts of the application process are still done by hand and must be coordinated from a tiny office with fewer than half a dozen employees.

“This is a dysfunctional city, we need to stop the dysfunctionality,” the mayor, who called the newspaper’s findings “unimaginable,” said in response to questions during an independent news briefing in Brooklyn.

“How can you have an empty apartment when you need people to be in the apartment and you have so much paperwork that they can’t get into the apartment,” he added. “That’s not how I will lead this city.”

Eric Adams
“New Yorkers should have confidence because I’m the mayor. And I’ll get things done,” Mayor Adams said.
NYCMayor/Twitter

However, Adams also rejected calls to increase the HRA’s budget to expand the office and address the massive backlog that has left 10 percent of the city’s supportive housing units idle, even as the average stay in shelters jumps to a year and a half approaches .

“We don’t need more staff, people just have to do their damn jobs,” he said, arguing that the process could be sped up simply by reducing the paperwork involved. “We have the staff to do it, but we have layers and layers of bureaucracy that needs to be cut.”

Instead, Adams said needy New Yorkers should have “confidence” that he would fix the HRA.

A homeless man collects his belongings at the 1 34th Street train station in Manhattan.
Most shelters in the city do not offer psychiatric services such as therapy.
Stephen Yang for the NY Post

When asked why New Yorkers should be reassured that something is being done to fix the problem, Adams said, “New Yorkers should have confidence because I’m the mayor. And I will get things done.”

Meanwhile, on the other side of City Hall, Council Speaker Adrienne Adams (D-Queens) added her vote to the list of lawmakers and housing activists, urging the mayor to take swift action to fix the mess.

“The city’s lack of focus on housing homeless New Yorkers in need of additional support services in thousands of empty units is deeply concerning,” Adams (no relative) said in a statement.

A homeless assistance program worker at the 34th Street BDFM station in Manhattan.
A homeless assistance program worker at the 34th Street BDFM station in Manhattan.
Stephen Yang for the NY Post
homeless person
Mayor Adams is outraged by the amount of vacant apartments for homeless New Yorkers to live in.
Helayne Seidman for the NY Post

“Resolving the bureaucratic inefficiencies due to staff shortages and broken systems that are responsible for these failures must be a public health and safety priority,” she added.

The story was the third to be published by The Post in recent weeks, which exposed significant flaws in New York’s sprawling Social Security network that are hampering City Hall’s high-profile efforts to combat homelessness and mental illness on the city’s streets.

Many homeless people living on the streets or in subways are afraid to go inside because longstanding safety and sanitation problems in city shelters persist, despite years of stories and promises of reform.

Additionally, most shelters in the city — including those designed to get the chronically homeless off the streets — do not provide essential mental health services such as on-site therapy.

https://nypost.com/2022/03/23/this-is-a-dysfunctional-city-adams-vow-fix-after-2k-apts-for-homeless-left-empty/ Fixed Adam’s Vow after leaving 2,000 dwellings empty for the homeless

JACLYN DIAZ

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