Wall Street Journal:
New York City has increased spending on housing homeless people in shelters in recent years, but the population continues to hover at more than 60,000 despite efforts to move many into permanent housing, a new city report shows.
During the 2017 fiscal year, the city spent an average of $99 a day to house single adults in facilities in New York City, according to a management report released Monday by Mayor Bill de Blasio. In fiscal year 2018, that number grew to $117 a day.
The increased cost reflects a larger investment in service providers, repairs and security at shelters, according to New York City’s Department of Homeless Services.
The cost of housing homeless families was also more expensive in fiscal year 2018, when more than 22,340 children were living in shelters. During that time, the cost to house families with children averaged $192 a day, up from $171 in fiscal year 2017. In fiscal year 2014, it cost the city an average of $102 each day to house shelter families with children.
Meanwhile, the cost to house adult families rose in fiscal year 2018 to $147 each day, compared with $138 a day during the same period a year earlier, according to the report.
The total budget for the Department of Homeless Services is more than $2 billion, with $172 million added in fiscal year 2018 for shelter operations, according to New York City’s Office of Management and Budget.
A spokesman for Homeless Services said the increased costs reflect a greater investment in the department’s shelter system and more services provided at these shelters.