7 thoughts on “Mixed Feelings About Mandatory Savings for NYC Homeless

  1. It is deeply offensive that the Department of Homeless Services (DHS) has proposed a rule that suggests that homelessness is an individual problem rather than a crisis that needs to be addressed in a systemic way.

    As the article points out, the DHS proposed a rule that would require employed shelter residents to deposit 30% of their income into a fund maintained by DHS. DHS would then return the funds when participants exit the shelter. If a participant fails to make the required deposits while they stay in the shelter, the consequence may be termination of shelter placement (after some minimal due process).

    The proposed rule is described as a way to “help . . . employed individuals get back on their feet and exit shelter by budgeting for and developing savings while in shelter.” However, this statement shows that the DHS proposal is rooted in a misguided belief that the problems faced by shelter residents stem from people’s failure to be responsible and to uplift themselves. This is a distraction from the real systemic causes of homelessness.

    Rather than focusing on individual behavior and imposing a system of consequences that will most certainly worsen the lives of the most vulnerable New Yorkers, the City of New York should be making serious commitments to tackling the housing crisis. More than 60,000 people sleep in a shelter each night in New York City, according to the Coalition for the Homeless. The City needs to address these numbers by building enough housing targeting the neediest New Yorkers. As stated in the Coalition for the Homeless’s August 2019 report, Mayor de Blasio’s much-touted housing plan has exacerbated homelessness. Mayor de Blasio used limited resources to subsidize the building of expensive apartments, creating or preserving 60,000 apartments with rents above $1,700 per month, while setting aside just 15,000 apartments for homeless households. These are not nearly enough for people who are the most neediest – people who cannot afford to spend $800 per month on rent, if that much. The proposed rule is unworkable as well, because for many people, saving 30% of their income will mean not taking care of other basic needs.

    The housing crisis will not be solved by individuals saving a little here and there. DHS and the City of New York should be ashamed for rolling out a rule that reflects a belief that it is up to individual actors to overcome the housing crisis in this city. The de Blasio administration must pay attention to the neediest New Yorkers by building adequate housing at the lowest rent levels and by building housing specifically for homeless individuals.

  2. De Blasio’s NYC allows real estate brokers and landlords to DEMAND that renters EARN 40X RENT a year AND cheapest rent for a 300 sq ft studio is around $1600 in areas far from public transportation-the minimum wage for those requirements would be $64,000. But minimum wage is less than half that! The number one issue with homelessness is affordable housing and the city’s greed!

    Make the city affordable, reduce the greedy real estate practices, reduce your CORPORATE WELFARE in the form of “tax breaks” before you start blaming the disenfranchised homeless.

  3. The city should stop taxing the landlord’s thus creating higher rents if I was a landlord and the city taxed me I would do the same thing and raise my rents.

  4. This proposal inherently blames low-income people of color for historic and systemic conditions. It is offensive and misguided. New York City desperately needs subsidized housing, not yet another way to punish poor people or make them feel like criminals. Families will lose their shelter if they can’t save this amount? Sounds punitive, not helpful. Will social workers come around and ask what families spend their money on, and whether they have a fancy tv or nice perfume, too (as was documented in the 1990’s)? Poor folks can’t enjoy anything, can they? Do more, and do better, NYC. This plan is despicable.

  5. Pingback: Mixed Feelings About Mandatory Savings for NYC Homeless | MIDTOWN SOUTH COMMUNITY COUNCIL

  6. This saving plan program is a joke. The NYC city agencies can’t even balance their own financial books but they have the nerve to present a plan to sanction homeless employed DHS clients to save 30% of their income. This would be an ideal plan if we had an abundance of low income housing in NYC which we don’t. This proposed income sanction is racist and offensive to the predominantly black and brown population in NYC DHS shelters. People of color are not responsible for the systematic racist policies establish to keep them in these situations. Most of the time these clients are already in low income jobs and spend most of their money on food, transportation, and repairing their credit. Even with the Fare Fairs initiatives it is still a big financial hit on the poor to pay for transportation. Fare Fairs enrollment is already low due to the city’s poor campaigning. Most landlords will not accept you if your credit score is not between 600 to 800 therefore even if homeless individuals saved 30% of their income, they won’t qualify for most of NYC housing opportunities due to poor credit. Our taxes pay for these shelters regardless if we reside in them or not therefore the DHS working homeless clients needs to have final say in DHS policies when it comes to how they save their income and DHS shelter rules. Homeless employed individuals are already paying to be in the shelters through income taxes taken out if their paychecks every pay period. Most shelter clients can’t even retain their jobs due to the poor quality of life issues in these shelters which usually leads them down the path to mental illness and substance abuse issues. These policies makers are not qualified for the position they hold and Mayor Bill de Blasio is to blame because he was the one who appointed them. If you look at how De Blasio selected these unqualified individuals into office you will see it is similar to how Trump appointed his political cabinet and agencies members. They both appointed their friends, family members, and mostly unqualified Whyte men. This is what happens when you have inexperienced individuals running the most important political offices in the city and country. 60,000 homeless may seem like a large number but we are living in a city that is over 1 million in population therefore these homeless and affordable housing issue can be fixed because we are in one of the richest city in the world.

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