Bill de Blasio promised to take the keys of New York was going to finish with the inequality that left the city between rich and poor. For this purpose marked as priority to combat the crisis that faced the largest metropolis of the united States by the increase of homeless people. Almost six years later, the democrat is criticized by other mayors for a program that allowed exporting to thousands of homeless families to other locations across the country.

The controversial program of special assistance only (SOTA, for its acronym in English) is part of the Department of Homeless Services (DHS). According to the information disclosed by the local press, the city spent $ 89 million to cover transportation, rent of a year and the furniture 12.482 people that moved out of the city. That equates to about 5.070 families from the special program of assistance only was activated in August of 2017.

The city has been deployed by more than 370 locations in 32 states, including territories such as Puerto Rico or Hawaii. New York authorities never informed the localities receiving on the financial status of new residents accommodated. The relocation is done, moreover, without the beneficiary having to prove a link with the target community.

Newark, on the other side of the Hudson river in New Jersey, identified 1,200 families that are part of this program. We now have to adopt a municipal order to ban that her neighbor would continue sending homeless people through JACK. The mayor of Mount Vermont, Andre Wallace, in the county of Westchester, is also required to Bill de Blasio who is in charge of the people who sent him.

The Coalition for the Homeless quantified in 63.840 the homeless in the city of New York. The count is done every January. The figures indicate since the organization, did not stop to grow up with Bill de Blasio. In the case of the adult males doubled in number during the last 10 years, to over 18,000 individuals. Families went from 9,600 to 15,000 in that period.

Dubious legality

Some of the people moved, came to Honolulu, nearly 5,000 miles from New York. Democrat John Mizuno, who chairs the Public Health committee of the Senate of Hawaii, wrote to the attorney general of the united STATES to review the legality of the policy followed by New York. Considers that the programme “does not guarantee the security, well-being and the support that they need,” these displaced people. “It is a recipe for disaster”, predicts. Hawaii has a similar program.

The authorities of Irvington in New Jersey lament their lack of coordination and supervision. Tony Vauss, mayor, insists that the homeless are “vulnerable citizens” that require ongoing attention. When the aid disappears, are the recipients who must take charge. As the mayor of Torrington, in Connecticut, heard about the program new york by the press.

The severity of the crisis, pointing from the coalition, “it is not a surprise.” You can check by going in front of the shelter for men that manages Basic Housing in the neighborhood of the Upper West Side. It is a swarm of people coming in and out of the complex. Some years ago, offered apartments to tourists. He joined the system to respond to the increase of the population of homeless people.

The experts at the Manhattan Institute point out that this program reflects the “desperation” to try to reduce the census of the homeless. And although moving to other locations where the housing has a price that is more affordable can be of help, from the Homeless Coalition warns that it is not a realistic option for people who can not be self-sufficient when it expires the subsidy.

Savings for the taxpayer

“it Is unfair that the largest city in the U.S. to address the problem of homeless people by submitting them to other communities without avisarlas”, regrets the mayor of Yonkers, Mike Spano. This town in the suburbs of New York city welcomed more than 130 families, although we never got an official notification. The solution, match up to the mayors, is not to send these people to other cities.

The DHS denies “exporting” to these families and insists that the program is designed to help you find a home to start a new life. To justify it, explains that welcome them in the shelters managed by the city costs up to $ 70,000 (66.176 euros) for a family with children, while paying them a rental in another city is around $ 17,500 (15.794 euros).

The argument of savings to the taxpayer, however, is questionable and not only because it transfers the cost to other cities. 35% of the beneficiaries of this assistance programme is moved in the limits of the metropolitan area, where rents are higher. And many, also, just going back to the shelters in New York in a few months by bad housing conditions.

The Senate of the State of New York is investigating the programme of assistance in the wake of the numerous protests of the mayors. Also what is being done by the city Council, after detecting “vulnerabilities severe” in its execution and the liabilities assumed by the owners of the foster homes.


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