NEW YORK – After he issued an emergency rule last week making it easier for New Yorkers experiencing homelessness to move out of the shelter system and into permanent housing, New York City Mayor Eric Adams today vetoed a package of City Council bills that would do the opposite and make it harder for New Yorkers experiencing homelessness to find and afford a permanent place to live – all while costing city tax payers billions of dollars per year. Mayor Adams issued the following statement after vetoing Intro. 229, Intro. 878, Intro. 893, and Intro. 894:
“Last week, our administration made it easier for New Yorkers in shelter to become eligible for CityFHEPS housing vouchers and move into permanent housing by eliminating the 90-day length-of-stay requirement. Today, we helped New Yorkers once again by vetoing a package of bills that would take us backwards, by leading to longer shelter stays for the most vulnerable New Yorkers, while simultaneously creating a structure that could saddle taxpayers with billions of dollars in costs each year. This legislation also clearly exceeds the Council’s legal authority.
“Though the Department of Social Services has steadily increased the total number of CityFHEPS vouchers distributed, the option to provide vouchers to every person who would be eligible under the Council’s bills is far beyond what the city can provide. The bills not only create expectations among vulnerable New Yorkers that cannot be met, they also take aim at the wrong problem.
“Instead of tackling decades of exclusionary zoning policies that have prevented our city from building an adequate housing supply — which has left nearly 20,000 current voucher holders unable to find housing — these bills would remove the city’s ability to target limited resources for those most in need. They would even give some New Yorkers access to a housing voucher just because they received a rent demand letter from their landlord after being a few weeks late on their payment.
“We always seek to work collaboratively with the City Council, and months ago our administration offered to partner with councilmembers to advance the 90-day length of stay policy change, but they rejected that offer and chose to move ahead on their own. What they passed was a package of bills that would make it harder for those experiencing homelessness to find a permanent home.
“Going forward, it is our sincere hope that the City Council will work with us to advance practical and fiscally responsible efforts to support New Yorkers in danger of homelessness, including an aggressive, citywide effort to build more housing in every neighborhood.”
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