Report: New Mayor Should Stop Re-Housing the Homeless

April 24, 2013 at 10:42 am

ICPH’s Ralph de Costa Nuñez speaking at an event in October. He argues that a succession of approaches to rapidly rehousing shelter clients has led to shelter recidivism and increased demand for shelter beds.

Some mayoral candidates want to restore programs that place homeless families in regular housing. But one think-tank believes those programs drive shelter demand.

Homeless numbers have reached historic levels, shelters are mushrooming throughout the city, homeless-related expenditures have gone through the roof and for the first time in three decades, there is no rental assistance or other housing program available to help shelter residents move into more permanent housing.

With more than 48,000 people sleeping in the city’s homeless shelters every night, and no end to the crisis in sight, homelessness certainly has been a topic of discussion among the candidates for mayor.

But while most candidates advocate a return to familiar strategies designed to help shelter residents move into their own apartment as quickly as possible, some experts hope to convince the next mayor to do the opposite: revamp the shelters, and stop offering housing to people who end up there.

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