De Blasio: $400M in cuts to health and social services needed

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio at press conference.
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio at press conference.
Ed Reed/Mayoral Photography Office
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio has proposed additional budget cuts to make up for the city’s expected $7.4 billion loss in tax revenue.

De Blasio: $400M in cuts to health and social services needed

New York City would cut several summer youth programs under the proposed budget.
April 19, 2020

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio has proposed nearly $400 million in cuts to health and social services, which includes suspending much of the city’s summer youth programming and reevaluating funding for nonprofits’ administrative costs.

The city faces $7.4 billion in tax revenue losses as a result of the COVID-19 crisis, which has led the mayor to pursue more aggressive budget cuts. The latest proposed $89.3 billion budget is $6 billion less than the one the mayor unveiled in January, before the coronavirus hit New York.

The largest cuts to health and social services were directed at summertime youth programming. City officials had already announced the suspension of the Summer Youth Employment Program last week, saving the city $124 million. But other summer programs, including Beacon, Cornerstone and the Comprehensive After School System of NYC, known as COMPASS, are also set to be shuttered this year because of school closures.

“This outbreak has put the city in a challenging position, and while we are grateful that there are not across-the-board cuts to human services, the budget does not include necessary funding for human services workers who are putting themselves at risk to serve people, and the cuts to youth services will delay recovery efforts,” Michelle Jackson, acting executive director of the Human Services Council, said in a statement. 

A city initiative allowing nonprofits to be reimbursed at higher rates for their indirect costs is also set to be reevaluated for about $20 million in savings. New York City has prepared to launch the initiative this year, to allow nonprofits to better cover costs not associated with their contracts. These are often administrative expenses such as rent, utilities and IT services. Organizations can still apply for indirect cost coverage, according to an email sent out to providers late last month, but their requests must be submitted by May 22. 

Here are some of the other proposed budget cuts that would affect local nonprofits:

Reduced rates for hotel beds: The city Department of Homeless Services would reduce the price for hotel rooms because of decreased demand, resulting in $35 million in savings for each upcoming fiscal year. 

Arts programming in middle and high schools: The proposed budget would reduce contracting and other spending for these programs by $15.5 million.

Fair Futures: The program, which offers foster youth aging out of the foster care system with life coaches, did not get funded in this year’s proposed budget. 

Close to Home: The city would reevaluate the number of beds needed for the juvenile justice initiative because of underutilization.

Arts and cultural initiatives: The city Department of Cultural Affairs would no longer operate the Building Community Capacity program or the CIG Supplemental Fund this upcoming year. It would also reduce funding for the CreateNYC Language Access Fund by about $3.3 million for the upcoming fiscal year.

NYN Media reporter Kay Dervesh
Kay Dervishi
is a staff reporter at NYN Media.
20200529