NYC Housing 10 Issues Series #8: Priority for Homeless Families

In 2013, the homeless population in New York City had reached its highest level since the Great Depression. While the city and state adopted a variety of strategies to house the homeless, the growth of the population shows that much more needed to be done to assist homeless households seeking to move from shelter to permanent housing. The incoming NYC mayor would need to address the growing homeless census and consider whether to allow homeless families to move to the top of the waiting list for housing vouchers or public housing. This brief outlines the tradoffs of such a policy to address homelessness.

The #NYChousing series, published in 2013 prior to the New York City mayoral election, identified 10 key affordable housing issues that were likely to confront the next mayor of New York City. The series aimed to inform the public about the policy tradeoffs by providing an objective analysis of the pros, cons, and questions related to key housing issues facing New York City. How the incoming New York City mayor would choose address the city's housing challenges in an environment of increasing needs, declining federal support, and a strengthening real estate market would have an enormous effect on the livability, diversity, and character of the city.