The lie began in 2014, when Bill de Blasio campaigned for Mayor on the platform of ending the “tale of two cities.” He said he would end inequality in our City. He said he would help the most vulnerable.
The lie continued in 2017 when he was reelected, and he said he would create the “fairest big city in America.”
Meanwhile, today we still have over 61,000 people living in shelters in New York City. The impacts of this cannot be understated: homeless people’s lives are endangered, their physical and mental health deteriorates, kids miss school, working people lose their jobs, and so much more. No one should ever have to face these spiraling circumstances.
Since he took office, Mayor de Blasio has continued to praise his administration for dealing with a homelessness crisis of record proportions. He’s made half-hearted attempts to deal with the immediate crisis of homelessness by issuing rental assistance vouchers that don’t cover average rents in our city. When people are able to find housing with these below-market rent vouchers, they are relegated to few far-flung neighborhoods where the housing is often in poor conditions. Seeing this lackluster attempt to help homeless people find housing, City Councilmember Steve Levin introduced a bill in January to raise voucher values to meet fair-market rent and to guarantee that voucher recipients continue to receive the assistance as long as they meet eligibility requirements.
But beyond providing New Yorkers with subpar vouchers to find housing, de Blasio has a bigger stain on his record when it comes to housing the homeless: his Housing New York 2.0 plan. Out of the 300,000 units of affordable housing in his plan, the mayor has committed only 15,000 units—five percent—for the homeless.