The Partnership for the Homeless

Housing Aid for New York’s Homeless

A response to the New York Times article "A Bold Plan to Prevent Homelessness" February 1, 2017

To the Editor:

Yes, it’s certainly important to expand our safety net with increased rent support so that those New Yorkers relying on public assistance may finally find a way out of shelter. But calling this a bold plan? Only if we’re willing to accept a permanent underclass and insidiously shore up the status quo.

Rather, Assemblyman Andrew Hevesi’s rent assistance plan needs to be tied to a bolder set of initiatives, one that appreciates the problem through the frame of the larger antipoverty struggle. Surely, creating opportunities to live in affordable and decent housing is an important start.

But there are other critical issues at stake — inadequate access to health care, enervated neighborhood schools, stagnant local economies and few economic opportunities — that must be incorporated into any response if we’re truly to address the underlying issues that drive so many into homelessness.


President and Chief Executive

Partnership for the Homeless

New York