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Department of social services

Advocates say that without safe and accessible housing options, Adams’s plan won’t reduce street homelessness.
The New York City Council voted last year to expand the city’s housing voucher system for New Yorkers experiencing homeless. But advocates, landlords, and voucher recipients say bureaucratic mishaps in the program are keeping people stuck in shelters longer than necessary.
Last year, the City Council passed legislation raising the city’s rental-assistance program to more closely match market rates. But housing advocates say a new rule issued by the city is preventing people from getting apartments.
The pandemic upended New York’s hotel industry. Some disused buildings are finding new life as shelters for people experiencing homelessness.
Hired as someone who had worked as a tireless advocate for homeless New Yorkers, Banks wound up overseeing a historic rise in New York City's homeless shelter population.
"They’re ignoring all of these people in here. They’re moving them around like cattle. They don’t care."
The state appellate court threw out a 2018 lawsuit that had argued the hotel at 158 West 58th Street was too old and unsafe to house a $60.8 million, 150-bed men’s shelter.
Nearly seven years, about 50% of families were deemed eligible; more recently, the number has been 26-27%.
As COVID devastated the city, homeless people living in congregate shelters were particularly vulnerable.
The motion argues that the unnamed Lucerne resident “has a right to join the case” because fellow shelter residents who oppose the move in the lawsuit “do not adequately represent his interests."
Nowhere has the battle been over shelters been more pitched than on the Upper West Side, a bastion of progressive ideals.
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