Back in March, the State Supreme Court shot down a Bloomberg administration policy requiring single homeless adults to prove they have no alternate housing before being allowed into a city shelter; yesterday, an appeals court told the city the policy's still illegal.
The policy, which the administration introduced in late 2011, sparked a lot of controversy, and even Bloomberg's then-BFF Christine Quinn spearheaded a City Council move to sue the mayor, along with the Legal Aid Society. "This was a wrongheaded policy that puts a burden of proof on people who could least shoulder it," Quinn and City Councilwoman Annabel Palma said in a statement yesterday.
That said, the state appeals court that dashed Bloomberg's dreams yesterday didn't focus much on morals, but on procedure—the court agreed with the March ruling's assessment that the city sidestepped a required public vetting period in implementing the rule. Meanwhile, New York's homeless population is growing, and homeless advocates hope the appeals court's ruling will force the city's hand in addressing an increasing demand for shelters. “Rather than continue this misguided crusade to leave our neighbors in the cold, Mayor Bloomberg must focus instead on the proven and cost-effective policy of his predecessors: investing in affordable-housing assistance,” Coalition for the Homeless president Mary Brosnahan wrote in a statement yesterday.
But don't think Bloomberg and Co. are just going to deal with it; the city's still pushing to keep the policy. "We are confident that city taxpayers and community groups, especially those who object to new shelter proposals understand the need for a thoughtful approach that fairly reserves shelter for those with no alternatives," Department of Homeless Services Commissioner Seth Diamond said. Does Grand Central count?