New York City to set aside 1,000 apartments a year for homeless

New York City Hall on a sunny day
New York City Hall on a sunny day

New York City to set aside 1,000 apartments a year for homeless

The City Council is expected to pass legislation homelessness advocates have pushed for.
December 13, 2019

In a big win for homelessness advocates, New York City is expected to approve legislation that would require affordable housing developments built with city support to set aside 15% of those units for the homeless, The New York Times reports. 

The original bill was even more radical, applying the 15% set-aside to all residential developments. Still, advocates from the Coalition for the Homeless and VOCAL-NY cheered the legislation as a step forward. About 1,000 additional apartments would be available for the city’s homeless if the bill passed, almost doubling the number of apartments that are currently being developed. And more of those units would likely be dispersed beyond more low-income neighborhoods, where homeless set-asides have often been placed. 

It’s also particularly well-timed news for those who have recently been criticizing Mayor Bill de Blasio for focusing on homelessness outreach without bolstering housing resources. A group of current and former outreach workers in the city anonymously penned an op-ed in Gothamist on Thursday calling out his plan to train city workers on submitting information on the homeless via 311.  

“The mayor’s focus on 311 without new housing, in addition to the MTA plan, paints a dystopic portrait of a city administration that would rather move, harass and disappear their homeless residents than house them,” they wrote.

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