This lazy editorial encapsulates the New York Post's perception of homelessness in NYC. It really highlights the NYPost's conviction that the only homeless people in NYC are the people with mental illness sleeping on the street. They never consider the 22,885 children slept in a DHS shelter last night.
My commentary is in bold italics:
City Councilman Stephen Levin’s outrage is misplaced. The Brooklyn Democrat wants the city to devote much more affordable housing to the homeless — which buys into the false idea that the lack of a home is the cause, rather than the result, of these unfortunates’ problems.
What does this mean? How is a lack of affordable housing the result of homelessness? According to the US Conference of Mayors Taskforce on Hunger and Homelessness a "lack of affordable housing is the lead cause of homelessness among families with children." This is a near-universal position. Rents get higher and higher while wages stagnate. People can't afford the rent. They become homeless.
The Post's assertion otherwise gives cover to lawmakers and NIMBY folks who just don't want to deal with the low-income housing crisis.
Levin, who chairs the council’s General Welfare Committee, doesn’t like the latest numbers from Department of Housing Preservation Commissioner Maria Torres-Springer: Just 2,000 units have gone to the homeless since 2014. Even with 4,500 more in the pipeline, it’s still just 8 percent of new “affordable” housing.
Remember, this is the same paper that published the op-ed "NYC is screwing citizens by housing the homeless" yet routinely runs stories about street homeless who smell bad. So they don't want the homeless to live in homes. They don't want them to live on the street. What do they want?
If the city doesn’t boost that to 15 percent, Levin warns, “We are going to have 60,000 people in the shelters perpetually.” His prescription is wrong — and so is his diagnosis.
Homes for the homeless to end homelessness. Sounds like a simple strategy (it is).
In fact, making shelters into a gateway to free or greatly subsidized housing is a guarantee that ever more people will claim homelessness. At the same time, this “solution” fails to provide the help that most homeless truly need — in overcoming mental illness, addiction and other challenges.
The ultimate bogeyman: People will pretend to become homeless because to get an apartment. It's the same notion that drives opposition to the mandatory shelter provision. Conservatives think people would actually become homeless on purpose. They don't. Would you?
People experiencing homelessness aren't 'lazy,' malingering 20-somethings. Two-thirds of the shelter population are families with children.
Yes, some homeless are simply down on their luck. But pretending that this is the only thing that puts people out on the streets is denial.
It’s bad enough that the city is obliged to fulfill a supposed right to shelter for all comers: Pretending anyone has a right to a home they can’t afford is just crazy.