Shola Olatoye – Be Our Guest: The Road To Ending Homelessness Starts With A Plan To Provide Affordable Housing

No comments yet October 6, 2013. The nonprofit Enterprise Community Partners says New York’s next mayor should support a plan that invests in and builds affordable housing, and provides funding and services to keep families from becoming homeless.

The next mayor of New York City will inherit quite a lot: a growing local economy, historically low crime rates, shiny new developments peppered throughout the city — and perhaps most importantly, an unprecedented homelessness crisis.

Tonight, roughly 57,000 New Yorkers will sleep on the street or in a shelter, an all-time high. The number of homeless families in the city’s shelter system has risen a staggering 73% since 2002. There are currently enough homeless kids in the city to fill Madison Square Garden and still leave a few thousand for the Barclays Center.

While there are several reasons for this spike, the primary culprit is a lack of decent, affordable housing, especially for the lowest-income New Yorkers. Median rent in the city has increased by almost 9% over the past half-decade while wages have dropped by about 7% after adjusting for inflation.

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