The Coalition for the Homeless released its State of the Homeless 2023 report, titled “Compounding Crises, Failed Responses.”
The report evaluates both the city’s and the state’s efforts to assist unsheltered New Yorkers.
“The city should have the capacity to help all those in need. We're less well-positioned than we could be to manage that situation,” said Dave Giffen, the coalition’s executive director.
According to the report, more than 72,000 people slept in the city’s main shelter system every night in January this year, a 40-year high.
The report also found 100,000 school kids were homeless at some point during the past academic year and hundreds of thousands more New Yorkers are either unsheltered or living in overcrowded spaces.
“The mayor did not have any plan to create affordable housing for the people who needed it most,” said Giffen. “He was not dealing with the capacity needs of the shelter system as it was.”
“The state has been transferring the cost of dealing with the homelessness crisis more and more on the city. The state needs to pick up its end of the bill.”
The report largely criticized Mayor Eric Adams and Gov. Kathy Hochul.
Under scrutiny is their handling of the influx of asylum seekers, as well as controversial efforts like unsheltered people being involuntarily removed from the transit system.
The Coalition for the Homeless is now making several recommendations, including the end of such practices, the addition of thousands of beds, and more affordable units.
“The city needs to commit to financing 12,000 units a year of affordable housing, specifically targeted toward those who need it most. Until we start producing housing at that level, we're not going to get ahead of this problem,” said Giffen.
In a statement, the Governor’s Office said Hochul has invested billions of dollars in housing and services to combat homelessness.
“Gov. Hochul will continue working to address the housing crisis, including through executive action in the weeks ahead,” said the statement.
The mayor earlier this month eliminated the requirement of having to be in a shelter for 90 days to qualify for the rental assistance vouchers, which advocates had called for, but they have many more recommendations.
“That is the only way we're going to get ahead of this problem that's been devastating lives in New York City,“ said Giffen.
NY1 reached out to the Mayor’s Office for comment, but have not yet heard back.