What if… The city provided housing to everyone who is homeless?

Wednesday, February 7, 2018 by Christina Watson

Homelessness had been a persistent and growing problem in New York City – in 2017, the city had its largest homeless population since the Great Depression, with 62,000 people sleeping in shelters each night. Most are in families, and many are children. Contrary to what many people assume, many homeless families include working parents who don’t earn enough to be able to afford housing in the city. 

New York’s homelessness policy is unusual in the U.S. in that it has a legal mandate to provide shelter – although not permanent housing – to anyone who needs it. This has resulted in an overcrowded shelter system and a reliance on expensive and inadequate temporary sites, such as hotels and run-down apartments, often located far from jobs and services. What if the city expanded its mandate to provide permanent housing to everyone who needs it, treating housing as a human right?

Our panel of experts responded...

By Christina Watson

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