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04

Aug

Inside New York Housing Crisis

It goes without saying that New York City is at the center of a worsening housing crisis – an event that represents a tremendous threat to the safety, health as well as wellbeing of a community. 



With the growing number of housing problems in NYC, local authorities are finding that the situation is worse than they projected. In 1981, Mayor Ed Koch signed a legislation that enforces shelter, care, support and aid to the homeless. Three years later, however, Koch said he did a big mistake. The number of homeless individuals continued to rise. In fact, the decree signed by Mayor Ed Koch's administration is one of the main reasons homelessness in New York is out of control today. 

Michael Greenberg, the author of a book titled “Tenants Under Siege: Inside New York City's Housing Crisis” explain various factors that have contributed to where New York City is now. He tries to lay bare precisely how frustrated New York residents are when it comes to locating affordable housing. He also exposes the evil practices some NYC landlords use against their tenants for their own selfish gain.

Today, there are more than 61 000 New Yorkers living in houses. The number of homeless in New York City is approximately 4 400, according to numerous reports and estimates. 

Three quarters of homeless in NYC are families with kids. In fact, these families are hit the worst. At least 30% of the adults in these homeless families have jobs. The nanny, the delivery guy, the security guard, the maintenance worker, the bank teller – or any worker we meet everyday – may be homeless. 

In 2016, more than 127 000 New Yorkers lived in shelters. In 2015, the local government moved 38 000 people from the streets to permanent housing. Despite this effort by the state government, the number of those sleeping in the shelters increased. 

The latest report shows no sign of decrease in homelessness in NYC over the nest 5 years. 

The number of destitute who lives under expressways, in train tunnels, in basements, on tenement roofs and in crawl spaces – is quite stable. While it is not easy to know how many of them are living in the streets, several reports and estimates have put the number at around 3000 – 4 400 in the winter and 5000-7000 during the summer. These are only the counted ones. Some of them cannot be identified. They live temporarily with friends and relatives.    

The housing problem in New York City is here to stay. It seems supply is not able to keep up with the demand for houses. And that is causing prices to rise and keeping many New Yorkers out of the market. This is why author Michael Greenberg has termed the situation “a humanitarian emergency.”

Blasio's administration has tried its best to solve this issue. In some cases, however, his policies have worsened the problem. This is because he is giving private developers the first priority. Most private developers are only catering to higher housing market. The policies have not been helpful to the average New Yorkers who cannot afford expensive rental houses.   

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