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Open Letter to Mayor Bloomberg and Speaker Quinn

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October 1, 2012

Mayor Michael Bloomberg
City Hall New York, NY 10007

City Council Speaker Christine Quinn
City Hall New York, NY 10007

Dear Mayor Bloomberg and Speaker Quinn,

I write to you today as a New Yorker and a person of faith, whose deeply held values call me to prioritize the most vulnerable among us: the homeless. I am very concerned that the ending of the Advantage rent-subsidy program marks the first time in three decades that New York City has no plan for helping the over 40,000 homeless men, women, and children – even those who are employed – to find and maintain housing as they work to rebuild their lives. On the heels of a court decision that withdrew housing assistance for nearly 8,000 formerly homeless families and nearly 2,000 single homeless adults, I stand with a broad community of advocates for the homeless in calling on New York City to use existing federal resources to help move families from homelessness into permanent housing.

I urge you to take immediate action to allow homeless families to access permanent housing resources by setting aside one in three New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) apartments and Section 8 vouchers for homeless families and individuals and utilize other available resources. Research has consistently shown that federal housing assistance – like public housing and Section 8 vouchers – is effective in reducing family homelessness. Setting aside only one-third of these apartments will have a discernible impact on the homeless community. New York City currently faces the tragedy of a record number of homeless families and adults.

Each year, there are thousands of NYCHA apartments and “recycled” federal Section 8 housing vouchers that become available, however, currently homeless individuals and families have little or no access to these valuable federal resources. As a person of faith ready to work with you as we face this challenge, I join the Interfaith Assembly on Homelessness and Housing, East Side Congregations for Housing Justice, and many others in calling on New York City to develop a plan utilizing these and other available resources – at small cost to New York City taxpayers – that will provide homeless adults and families with the most effective path to permanent homes and dignified lives. Please advise me at the address below as to your plans to address this vital issue.



Interfaith Assembly on Homelessness and Housing

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