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					Coalition for the Homeless
State of the Homeless 2006
Part I: Homelessness in the New Century: The Worst Decade Since the Great Depression Part II: Reform the Flawed “Housing Stability Plus” Program
January 24, 2006 Coalition for the Homeless 129 Fulton Street New York NY 10038 212-776-2000 www.coalitionforthehomeless.org

State of the Homeless 2006
Overview of the Report
Part I: At Halfway Point, the Worst Decade for Homelessness Since the Great Depression
Number of Homeless New Yorkers 44 Percent Higher than 1990s Number of Homeless Children 55 Percent Higher than Last Decade Long Shelter Stays for Homeless Children and Families City Creates Fewer Apartments for Homeless New Yorkers
> Detailed on Pages 4-13
Page 2

State of the Homeless 2006
Overview of the Report
Part II: Reform the Flawed “Housing Stability Plus” Program
Reduces Rental Assistance 20 Percent Annually Requires Families to Stay on Welfare – Blocks Transition from Welfare to Work Endangers Many Families – Gives Taxpayer Dollars to Slumlords Allows Unscrupulous Brokers and Landlords to Demand Illegal Side Payments from Vulnerable Families
> Detailed on Pages 14-22
Page 3

State of the Homeless 2006
Part I: Homelessness in the New Century
At Halfway Point, the Worst Decade for Homelessness Since the Great Depression
At the midpoint of the decade, the number of homeless New Yorkers in shelters is 44 percent higher than in the 1990s. Despite recent moderate declines, since June the New York City homeless shelter population has leveled off at nearly 32,000 people per night. Homeless families still make up three-quarters of the shelter population, and families now stay in shelters for nearly a year. Amidst cutbacks in Federal housing programs and soaring rents citywide, further declines in homelessness are doubtful absent dramatic policy reforms by Mayor Bloomberg.
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State of the Homeless 2006
Current Decade’s Homelessness Crisis
Average Number of Homeless People Residing in Municipal Shelters Each Night (1980s Data from 19831989)

Halfway Through the Decade, Homelessness Up 44 Percent from the 1990s
35,000 30,000 25,000 20,000 15,000 10,000 5,000 0

32,609

23,295

22,611

1980s

1990s

2000-2005
Page 5

State of the Homeless 2006
Family Homelessness Dramatically Higher
Average Number of Homeless People Residing in Municipal Shelters Each Night (1980s Data from 19831989)

Number of Homeless Families 52 Percent Higher than Last Decade
8,000 7,000 6,000 5,000 4,000 3,000 2,000 1,000 0

7,640

5,034 3,947

1980s

1990s

2000-2005
Page 6

State of the Homeless 2006
More Homeless Children in New York City
Number of Homeless Children 55 Percent Higher than the 1990s
14,000 12,000 10,000 8,000 6,000 4,000 2,000 0

Average Number of Homeless People Residing in Municipal Shelters Each Night (1980s Data from 19831989)

13,616

9,341

8,808

1980s

1990s

2000-2005
Page 7

Annual Number of Apartments Created for Homeless Families and Individuals

1,000

1,500

2,000

2,500

3,000

3,500

4,000

4,500

5,000

500
2,913 3,635 4,042 3,201 4,012 4,173 3,643 3,225 2,563 1,997 1,219 764 264 523 503 529

0
FY 1986 FY 1987 FY 1988 FY 1989 FY 1990 FY 1991 FY 1992 FY 1993 FY 1994 FY 1995 FY 1996 FY 1997 FY 1998 FY 1999 FY 2000 FY 2001 FY 2002 FY 2003 FY 2004 FY 2005

Dramatic Reduction in the Number of New Apartments Created for Homeless Households

282 294 309 391
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Fewer New Apartments Created for the Homeless

State of the Homeless 2006

State of the Homeless 2006
NYC Homelessness in the New Century
Total Number of Homeless Children and Adults Residing in Municipal Shelters

NYC Homeless Shelter Population 37 Percent Higher Over Five Years
40,000 38,000 36,000 34,000 32,000 30,000 28,000 26,000 24,000 22,000
MAY 2000 MAY 2001

After moderate declines, the shelter population has leveled off at nearly 32,000 people per night since June 2005.
MAY 2002 MAY 2003 MAY 2004 MAY 2005 JAN 2000 JAN 2001 JAN 2002 JAN 2003 JAN 2004 JAN 2005 SEP 2000 SEP 2001 SEP 2002 SEP 2003 SEP 2004 SEP 2005

20,000

Page 9

State of the Homeless 2006
Family Homelessness in the New Century
Total Number of Homeless Children and Adults Residing in Municipal Shelters

Number of Homeless Families 53 Percent Higher Over Five Years
9,500 9,000 8,500 8,000 7,500 7,000 6,500 6,000 5,500 5,000
MAY 2000 MAY 2001

After moderate declines in 2004, the number of homeless families has stagnated at nearly 8,000 families per night.
MAY 2002 MAY 2003 MAY 2004 MAY 2005 JAN 2000 JAN 2001 JAN 2002 JAN 2003 JAN 2004 JAN 2005 SEP 2000 SEP 2001 SEP 2002 SEP 2003 SEP 2004 SEP 2005

4,500

Page 10

State of the Homeless 2006
Long Shelter Stays for Homeless Families
Homeless Children and Families Now Stay in Shelters for Nearly One Year
Average Number of Days Homeless Families Reside in Municipal Shelters

360 340 320 300 280 260 240 220 200
1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004

350 338 325 297 277 268 298 298 325

238 216

2005

Page 11

State of the Homeless 2006
More New Yorkers Turn to Shelters
16 Percent More New Yorkers Experienced Homelessness During Past Four Years
Total Unduplicated Number of Individuals Who Resided in Municipal Shelters

104,028
100,000

95,388 82,808

98,239

80,000 60,000 40,000 20,000 0
FY 2002 FY 2003 FY 2004 FY 2005
Page 12

State of the Homeless 2006
More Street Homelessness
Outreach Teams Contacted 18 Percent More Street Homeless People Over Four Years
Total Number of Street Homeless People Contacted by City-Funded Homeless Outreach Teams

121,491
120,000

118,628

100,219
100,000 80,000 60,000 40,000 20,000 0
FY 2002

107,961

FY 2003

FY 2004

FY 2005
Page 13

State of the Homeless 2006
Part II: Reform “Housing Stability Plus”
Overview of “Housing Stability Plus”: A Flawed Program in Need of Reform
Since June the New York City homeless shelter population has leveled off at nearly 32,000 people per night. Reductions in homelessness in 2004 and early 2005 were due to the City’s use of Federal housing programs, such as Section 8 vouchers, which have been cut back by the Bush Administration. In the past year, the City has failed to meet its own targets for housing placements through “Housing Stability Plus.” Many reputable landlords are wary of participating in a program that cuts housing assistance for families every year. Without reforms, “Housing Stability Plus” creates a revolving door to homelessness for thousands of poor families.
Page 14

State of the Homeless 2006
Major Flaws in “Housing Stability Plus” “Housing Stability Plus”: The Major Flaws in Need of Reform
1. Reduces Rental Assistance 20 Percent Annually 2. Requires Families to Stay on Welfare 3. Endangers Many Families, and Gives Taxpayer Dollars to Slumlords 4. Allows Unscrupulous Brokers and Landlords to Demand Illegal Side Payments from Vulnerable Families
Page 15

State of the Homeless 2006
HSP Flaws: Shrinking Housing Assistance 1. Shrinking Housing Assistance for Needy Families
The “Housing Stability Plus” program reduces families’ rent supplements by 20 percent every year, and then ends it after five years. Most families will be unable to shoulder this annual “rent hike.” Many families will be forced to return to the shelter system, creating a “revolving door.”

Page 16

State of the Homeless 2006
HSP Flaws: Declining Rental Assistance
"Housing Stability Plus" Program Reduces Housing Assistance Every Year
$1,000 $800 $600 $400 $200 $0 Year 1 Year 2 Year 3 Year 4 Year 5
Page 17

Maximum Monthly Rent Subsidy for a Family of Three Under the "Housing StabilityPlus" Program

$925 $820 $715 $610 $505

State of the Homeless 2006
HSP Flaws: Welfare Rules Block Employment

2. Requires Families to Stay on Welfare
“Housing Stability Plus” requires families to stay on welfare. Under HSP rules, families lose their rental assistance if they secure employment. City and State officials have refused to create a “work support” component for HSP, harming families striving for self-sufficiency. HSP rules also exclude people with Social Security, disability and veterans benefits.
Page 18

State of the Homeless 2006
HSP Flaws: Endangering Vulnerable Families

3. Endangers Families and Subsidizes Slumlords
“Housing Stability Plus” subsidies are paid to many landlords already cited by the City for dangerous housing code violations. In a recent survey, 41 percent of HSP buildings met the City’s own criteria for an “unsatisfactory” building. City officials have so far refused to require repairs and reinspections before homeless families move into HSP apartments. Dangerous housing conditions are a major cause of homelessness.
Page 19

State of the Homeless 2006
HSP Flaws: Subsidies to Slumlords
41 Percent of "Housing Stability Plus" Subsidies Go to "Unsatisfactory" Buildings

41%

Source: NYC Department of Housing Preservation and Development, violations database. Based on a Housing Here & Now survey of 274 HSP buildings. According to the City, “unsatisfactory” buildings have three class “C” or “B” violations per housing unit.
Page 20

State of the Homeless 2006
HSP Flaws: Endangering Vulnerable Families

4. Illegal “Side Deals” Demanded of Poor Families
Many “Housing Stability Plus” families have been forced to pay illegal “side deals” – payments over the legal rent – by landlords and brokers. Some illegal “side deals” amount to hundreds of dollars each month from NYC’s poorest families. City and State officials have so far refused to crack down on “side deals.”
Page 21

State of the Homeless 2006
The “Housing Stability Plus” Reform Plan “Housing Stability Plus”: A Reform Plan for the Mayor
1. Eliminate the Annual 20 Percent Reduction in the Value of the Rent Supplement 2. Allow “Housing Stability Plus” Recipients to Work 3. Prohibit Substandard Housing from Receiving Subsidies 4. Ban Illegal “Side Deals” and Brokers/Landlords Who Engage in Them
For details on the “Housing Stability Plus” reform plan, visit www.coalitionforthehomeless.org.
Page 22

State of the Homeless 2006
Data Sources and Acknowledgments
Data Sources
Homelessness data: NYC Department of Homeless Services. Housing data: Mayor’s Management Report, NYC Department of Housing Preservation and Development, Housing Here & Now.

Acknowledgments
Report prepared by Patrick Markee, Senior Policy Analyst, Coalition for the Homeless. For more information, please visit www.coalitionforthehomeless.org.

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