Crisis is a Bureaucratic Failure & National Disgrace
Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis, who is challenging Bill de Blasio in the race for Mayor, today called New York City’s homeless crisis a “bureaucratic failure and a national disgrace that Bill de Blasio helped create.” Malliotakis made the comments at a Thursday morning news conference on the steps of City Hall, where she outlined her plans to deal with the problem and released H.O.P.E. (Helping Our People Excel), A Plan to Turn the Tide of New York City’s Homeless Crisis.
Since Bill de Blasio took office in January of 2014, New Yorkers have witnessed a dramatic increase in the presence of homeless on our streets and seen the homeless shelter population jump by roughly 20% to upwards of 61,000 individuals on an average day. In fact, according to the Coalition for the Homeless, homelessness in New York City has reached the highest levels since the Great Depression in recent years.
Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis said, “Over the last 3 ½ years New Yorkers have seen the number of homeless in our city grow by roughly 20%. Our streets, subway stations and expressway overpasses have become home for many, aggressive panhandling has returned with a vengeance and mentally unstable individuals like the homeless woman who recently slashed a commuter in clear day terrorize people going about their daily lives.
“What has happened in our city is both a bureaucratic failure and a national disgrace that Bill de Blasio personally helped create. It’s obvious that Mayor de Blasio has taken the misguided approach of basically letting the homeless, be homeless. He feels they have a right to live on the street if they want; I call it a tragedy. Under the administrations of the two previous Mayors, we had protocols and proactive policies that kept the numbers of homeless down, because it placed those who needed care in hospitals, rehabs and sober living facilities and those who need skills in training programs that help prepare them for a competitive job market to obtain employment and transition out of a shelter.
“New Yorkers are a caring and compassionate people. We’ve seen it, time and again, during blackouts, 9/11 and SuperStorm Sandy. But when hard working, over taxed New Yorkers hear the cost of housing the homeless in hotels their blood begins to boil and at a cost of up to $530,000 a night, it is with good reason.
“Among other solutions H.O.P.E. calls for are:
- Establish pop-up intake centers that will be open 24-hours to assist homeless families and individuals to ensure they receive the help they need.
- Establish an interagency Homeless Outreach Task Force comprised of NYPD, Sanitation, the Department of Homeless Services, MTA, New York City Transit, Parks, the Department of Transportation, and the Human Resources Administration to search for street homeless and provide them with the services they need.
- Limiting to 7, the number of nights an individual can be housed in a hotel.
- Implementation of a program that would create incentives for empty nesters in NYCHA housing to move to smaller units so larger units could become available for a working homeless family.
- Working with Governor Cuomo to sign the New York/New York IV Agreement to create 30,000 units of supportive housing units.
“The solutions offered in the H.O.P.E. plan are merely the first steps needed to reform and reshape New York City’s policies and programs for the homeless. As Mayor, I will be a proactive leader, not a reactive one like Bill de Blasio. I will be compassionate to those truly in need and I will be firm and resolute towards those that abuse and disrespect the generosity of New York’s taxpayers.
Together, we must take back our city. It starts with making Bill de Blasio a one term Mayor.