Homelessness in New York has become a vicious cycle, with state policies failing to match the scale of the crisis.
23,000 more New Yorkers become homeless each year than escape it.
Over 250,000 New Yorkers were homeless in the 2018-2019 school year, including over 150,000 children. This number exceeds the populations of every city in the state with the exception of New York City. More than 80,000 households in the state are on the brink of homelessness.
New York City remains the epicenter of the worst homelessness crisis since the Great Depression.
The number of people staying in NYC shelters each night rose by 60 percent between January 2011 and November 2019. Over 63,000 adults and children sleep in NYC shelters each night. Today, the number of single individuals seeking shelter is the highest it’s been since modern mass homelessness began. All of these numbers have peaked during Governor Andrew Cuomo’s tenure.
Existing shelter allowances are not enough to help families move from shelters to stable homes—that’s where HSS comes in.
HSS would bridge the difference between incomes and rents to enable homeless and nearly-homeless New Yorkers to stay out of the shelter system and in secure homes. Given that market rent is too high for many individuals and families, HSS would help fill the void between available resources and housing costs, while local governments have the option to contribute the rest.
HSS isn’t just morally sound, it’s a responsible investment that would save New York State taxpayers millions of dollars.
Shelters and emergency housing cost taxpayers billions of dollars each year and do not give families and individuals struggling with homelessness the resources to transition into secure, long-term housing. In addition to preventing evictions and helping those fleeing unsafe environments find new homes, HSS would reduce the high cost of shelters and provide New Yorkers the residential stability to succeed.
There is already widespread support for HSS across party lines and throughout New York State.
In addition to bipartisan sponsors in the New York State Assembly and Senate, HSS has received support from municipal officials, Congressional representatives, NYC Council members and Community Boards, faith leaders, and advocacy groups. It is now up to Gov. Cuomo to include HSS in this year's budget and make New York a home for all.