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Mayor de Blasio Announces Over 50,000 Individuals Have Exited Shelter Since July 1, 2014

November 10, 2015

Over 19,000 individuals exiting shelter to permanent housing using the administration’s newly created rental assistance programs and exit pathways

Over 90,000 individuals have accessed homelessness prevention services

NEW YORK—The de Blasio administration today announced that 52,277 individuals have exited shelter since July 1, 2014. Approximately 19,263 of these individuals exited shelter using the administration’s newly created rental assistance programs and exit pathways.

Since July 1, 2014, approximately 91,906 individuals have enrolled in HomeBase, a proven homelessness prevention program to help families and individuals stay in their homes. The administration has supported 15,902 households – approximately 50,000 individuals – through our tenant protection programs and anti-eviction legal services.

“This administration is making unprecedented investments in programs to prevent and reduce homelessness and keep New Yorkers in their homes, and we’re proud to see over 50,000 New Yorkers exit shelter and help over 90,000 access services to stay in their homes and avoid shelter,” said Mayor de Blasio. “But as rents are skyrocketing and wages remain stagnant, too many New Yorkers are struggling to make ends meet and still end up in shelter, and we are aggressively working to help these families and individuals exit shelter.”

Increasing homelessness is an unfortunate product of today’s economic realities – increasing income inequality, rents rising, and wages remaining flat. Oftentimes, New Yorkers fall on hard times, can’t make rent, and end up entering shelter. Furthermore, in 2011, the State withdrew funding and the City was forced to cut Advantage, a rental assistance program that was a critical shelter exit strategy, leading to a significant increase of homeless New Yorkers in shelter.

“Kudos to Mayor de Blasio for helping nearly 20,000 New Yorkers move out of costly shelters into permanent housing – giving them the sanctuary and stability needed to truly thrive,” said Mary Brosnahan, President and CEO of Coalition for the Homeless. “Many more of our neighbors still need help, but every family, every individual, every child who moves out of the shelter system and into decent housing is a victory.  Together with a robust investment in supportive housing, these housing-based investments are surely the path to ending homelessness in New York City.”

“This is tremendous news for Mayor de Blasio's efforts —and the efforts of advocates and service providers — in finding sustainable, permanent housing for homeless New Yorkers. That said, we still have record numbers of homeless families sleeping in New York City shelters. The best way to tackle the homeless problem in New York is to make sure the homeless have access to housing and supportive services. While we have a major problem in front of us, these numbers are a significant step in the right direction,” said Christine C. Quinn, President and CEO of Women In Need.

“Today’s announcement is a collective victory for Homeless Services United’s members and their staff, the City and most of all the thousands of homeless clients who now have a place to call home,” said Christy Parque, Executive Director for Homeless Services United.

“The Legal Aid Society commends Mayor de Blasio for his leadership in creating housing subsidy programs that have helped almost 20,000 formerly homeless New Yorkers successfully return to permanent housing and get back on their feet. We call on New York State to commit funds to expand these programs and fully fund its share of supportive housing so that we can finally end mass homelessness in New York City,” said Judith Goldiner, Attorney in Charge of the Civil Law Reform Unit at The Legal Aid Society.

The administration has invested over $1 billion more over the next four years to tackle homelessness. This includes expanding homelessness prevention resources to help those on the brink of homelessness or eviction stay in their homes, rental assistance programs, and new exit pathways to help families and individuals exit shelter. The Department of Homeless Services aggressively works with families and individuals to connect them to housing opportunities, including strategically distributing rental assistance vouchers to specific groups ready to transition back to rental units, including working families with children, working adults, domestic violence survivors, and seniors. Investing in prevention and rental assistance is better for the families and individuals and cheaper for taxpayers.  

Approximately 19,263 individuals exited shelter using newly created Rental Assistance Programs and Exit Pathways:

  • LINC – 7,904 individuals
  • NYCHA – 7,465 individuals
  • CityFEPS – 1,980 individuals
  • HPD Section 8 – 1,201 individuals
  • NYCHA Section 8 – 713 individuals

Homelessness has increased by approximately 115 percent over the past two decades.

NYC Shelter Census:

  • Jan 1, 1994 (Giuliani): 23,526
  • Jan 1, 2002 (Bloomberg): 33,194
  • Jan 1, 2014 (de Blasio): 50,689

There are currently 57,390 individuals in shelter. Of those, 40,319 are families with children. Ninety-one percent of these households are led by women. Twenty-nine percent of these heads of households of families with children in shelter are employed. Forty-five percent of these heads of households of families with children are employed or were employed within the past year.

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