The mayor attributed growing concerns about a surge in homelessness in part to “hyperbolic pundits and right-wing politicians with an ideological ax to grind.”
But he did acknowledge the sight of more homeless people this summer.
To reverse the trend, de Blasio said he would allocate $1 billion in additional money over the next four years to address homelessness.
Under his administration, nearly 15,000 people have left the shelter system and 20,000 people have avoided homelessness with city help, he wrote.
De Blasio’s commitment to tackle the problem head-on comes less than a week after his chief spokeswoman, Karen Hinton, tweeted that homelessness was a challenge inherited from former Mayor Michael Bloomberg.
“Who was mayor during time when NYC homeless numbered 25,000 in 2002 and jumped to 53,000 by 2013. Not @BilldeBlasio,” Hinton tweeted.
De Blasio touted his accomplishments in office — including universal pre-K and paid sick leave — while conceding there is “a sense that, despite the record-low crime statistics, the city is not as safe as it truly is.”