Home Homeless & Crisis Assistance Thompson Statement On City’s Temporary Decision To Stop Charging Rent To Working...

Thompson Statement On City’s Temporary Decision To Stop Charging Rent To Working Homeless

New York, NY – May 22, 2009 – (RealEstateRama) — New York City Comptroller William C. Thompson, Jr. today issued the following statement following City’s decision to temporarily stop requiring working people living in Department of Homeless Services’ (DHS) shelters to pay rent toward the cost of being housed:

“While I am pleased that the City has recognized the technical difficulties in administering this program, the Bloomberg Administration still has not pledged to stop it altogether, nor has it taken steps to convince the State to reconsider this offensive policy. I remain troubled by the City’s initial embrace of this program and the failure to seek relief from its mandates.”

In a letter to Mayor Bloomberg last week – available at www.comptroller.nyc.gov – Thompson recommended another approach: Instead of requiring shelter residents to pay up to half their income in rent to the City, the Administration should work with each family to create a realistic budget that covers necessary expenses. Any money the City charges for rent should instead be deposited into savings accounts that families could use exclusively for permanent housing. 

He continued: “It is misguided, at best, to believe that families enter the shelter system for any other reason than out of desperation. Rather than burdening families in crisis, the City should offer constructive assistance that allows families to return to a firmer financial footing and move back into their own homes.

The more families pay to be sheltered, the longer they will need to remain in a shelter – at a greater cost to the City – as they struggle to accumulate financial resources necessary to secure a new place to live.”

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