Powerful city lawmakers have urged Mayor Eric Adams to act quickly to fill some 2,500 empty townhouses for homeless New Yorkers after The Post revealed how a bureaucratic “nightmare” left them uninhabited.
The number was all the more remarkable because it is nearly identical to the 2,463 New Yorkers who live on the city’s streets and subway system, according to the federal government’s most recent census.
“We’re in the middle of a crisis when it comes to homelessness and we keep realizing that there are these bureaucratic hoops,” said Council Majority Leader Keith Powers, who called the fiasco “ridiculous”. .
“It’s 2022, we need to find a way to bring people together quickly and with homes,” he added. “We need to accelerate these placements while mustering the resources to fund a longer-term solution.”
The story, the third to be published by The Post in recent weeks, has exposed significant flaws in New York’s sprawling Social Security system that are hampering Mayor Eric Adams’ high-profile efforts to combat homelessness and mental illness on the city’s streets . The others revealed:
“We can’t let the previous administration’s bureaucratic dysfunctions or funding cuts prevent it from getting New Yorkers off the streets,” said Councilor Justin Brannan (D-Brooklyn), who chairs the Budgets Committee and says he supports City Hall’s recent efforts to fight homelessness and mental illness on subways.
“If this was ignored by the previous administration, we need to attack it and fix it,” Brannan added.
Adams has launched two high-profile efforts to improve security on city trains following a spate of deadly attacks on city subways.
The first, introduced in January, aimed to deter potential crime by flooding the tube system with additional patrols from beat cops.
The second, introduced in February, aimed to use a carrot-and-stick approach to encourage homeless people in New York to seek shelter by increasing enforcement of MTA regulations — including bans on sleeping and smoking on trains — coupled with an increased reach of underground social services.
“It is infinitely problematic that these homes are empty,” said Catherine Trapani, executive director of Homeless Services United.
She urged HRA to better track available housing and invest in computer systems that allow them to track units and their occupancy.
“They have to do everything they can to fill the positions,” she added. “We must be good stewards of these resources.”
https://nypost.com/2022/03/22/pols-demand-fix-after-post-reveals-empty-apartments-for-homeless/ Pols call for remedy after Post reveals empty apartments for homeless people