Memo: City Hall Backs Charging Homeless

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The Bloomberg administration has said it’s going to start collecting rent payments from the homeless because state regulations require it. But, according to a memo that City Limits obtained, that’s not the whole story.

A 1995 state regulation issued by then-Governor George Pataki’s administration does require the homeless who earn income to pay their shelters rent. But even as the state legislature considers nullifying the 1995 regulation’s rent requirements, the memo shows that the mayor opposes overturning the Pataki-era rules.

“The current state policy is equitable,” says the September 9, 2009 memo. “All New Yorkers who have income are expected to use some of their income to pay for their housing.”

The memo was signed by Michelle Goldstein, the Mayor’s former Director for State Legislative Affairs and submitted to the state assembly. It opposes state Assembly and Senate bills that, if enacted, would prevent the state from requiring recipients of temporary housing assistance to contribute to the cost of such housing.

A similar provision was added by the Senate majority to the budget resolution and is now under consideration as part of the state’s budget

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