Is the de Blasio administration exporting of New York City’s homeless families to other parts of the state?
Senate Investigations Committee Chairman Terrence Murphy (R-Hudson Valley) told the New York Post on Sunday that he is opening a probe and will hold a public hearing on the matter after being briefed by an infuriated state Sen. Fred Akshar, who represents the city of Binghamton and Broome County, where the homeless are being shipped by the city.
“It’s very concerning when people are relocated from one part of the state to another without community notification,” Murphy told the Post. “It’s slap in the face. It’s sleight of hand. I wouldn’t expect anything less from Mayor de Blasio.”
He added, “A lot of questions need to be answered. Let’s be open and honest about it. Why is New York City paying people to move to Binghamton without anyone knowing about it? Do these people have criminal records? Did they just get out of jail? Or are they just out of luck?”
Homelessness prevention has been an area of great emphasis by the de Blasio administration. The Homelessness Prevention Administration (HPA) works to keep New Yorkers in their homes. HPA works with the Department of Homeless Services (DHS), the NYC Housing Authority (NYCHA) and many other organizations and City agencies to prevent homelessness and assist families and individuals in need in maintaining stable, affordable housing in their communities.
Within the Homelessness Prevention Administration are the Housing and Homeless Services/Initiatives Division, the Rental Assistance Program, the Legal Services Initiatives unit, and the Early Intervention Outreach Team, all of which are vital partners in assisting New Yorkers in need.
HRA funds Anti-Eviction Legal Services in the housing courts and in community offices across the City, providing comprehensive, flexible and individualized legal and related services to help ensure that low-income households avoid becoming homeless.
The city’s Homebase program helps New Yorkers develop a personalized plan to overcome an immediate housing crisis and achieve housing stability. They are eligible for Homebase services if they are at imminent risk of entering the New York City shelter system; are low-income; or want to remain stably housed in their community.
With conveniently located prevention centers staffed with homelessness prevention experts, Homebase offers a range of services under one roof, including services to prevent eviction; assistance obtaining public benefits; emergency rental assistance; education and job placement assistance; financial counseling and money management; help relocating; and short-term financial assistance
Other city services designed to combat the homeless problem include negotiations with landlords and/or other advocacy assistance, and inquiries into whether a tenant’s rent level is correct, and preparation and filing of required agency and court papers.
By: Howard Riell