It would not come as a surprise to anyone that lives here that New York City has a steadily rising population of homeless residents. The homeless housing epidemic has been an issue for a substantially long time, but there has never been a direct answer or solution to this crisis. Over the past few decades, multiple policies and reforms were put into action, but some argue that they have only made the situation worse for everyone, besides the homeless. The proper attention must be brought to this epidemic, primarily because it affects all of New York City and its inhabitants.
“Let’s face it: Nobody knows what to do about the homeless crisis,” says Steve Cuozzo of the New York Post. City Hall has been pressured to come up with an idea on how to effectively decrease the number of individuals living on the streets. Unfortunately, their plan of attack has the potential to make things much worse. They are beginning to pay landlords more money to house the homeless than the property owners could make by renting to non-homeless people at ordinary market rates.
So, what does this new plan entail for building management and development in New York? Developers and existing owners may now feel incentivized to rent their space to the City rather than individuals seeking a life in NYC. We see that now as three hotels have or are closing to the public in a deal with the City to provide housing to the homeless, at rates higher than if they rented the rooms to the public. The city is doing this without outreach to the local community leaving local residents wondering about security and a population of homeless individuals integrating into their communities without a transparent process.
Mayor De Blasio, like his predecessors, has been very adamant about the affordable housing dream. The only reality is that he talked last winter about opening up 90 new shelters but never explained where or how he would achieve this. The answer seems to be very clear. “Let’s get private developers to build new shelters, and we’ll pay them tons of money to use them for the homeless!” says Cuozzo.