For Immediate Release
October 5, 2018
Contact: Paulette Soltani, 775-340-2359, email@example.com
Follow updates on Twitter: @vocalnewyork
HOMELESS ACTIVISTS DISRUPT MAYOR’S WORKOUT AT PARK SLOPE YMCA TO DEMAND 30,000 UNITS OF AFFORDABLE HOUSING PLAN GO TO HOMELESS NEW YORKERS, INCLUDING 24,000 CREATED THROUGH NEW CONSTRUCTION
After repeated calls by homeless New Yorkers and advocates to increase his affordable housing commitment to house the homeless, dozens gather to demand action. There are over 61,000 homeless in New York City.
SEE VIDEO (Mayor is confronted at 1:00, speak-out begins at 3:30): https://www.facebook.com/VOCALNY/videos/1937760952981876/
NEW YORK CITY – A group of homeless activists, led by a 72-year old woman who has been homeless since 2015 confronted Mayor de Blasio inside his gym in Park Slope this morning and questioned his commitment to ending the record-high homelessness crisis in New York City.
Outside the gym, homeless New Yorkers and advocates led a sidewalk “teach-in” on de Blasio’s affordable housing plan and the needs of homeless New Yorkers They led chants demanding 30,000 units of affordable housing be set aside for homeless people and held signs that read: “De Blasio to homeless NYers: stay homeless!” and “De Blasio’s “fairest big city”: 61,000 homeless, 300,000 units of affordable housing, only 5% of housing plan for homeless NYers.”
The rally comes at the heels of calls on the Mayor to increase his commitment to rehouse homeless New Yorkers. Fifty-eight organizations from across New York City have joined the House our Future NY campaign to call on Mayor de Blasio to increase his housing commitments for homeless New Yorkers from five percent of his housing plan to ten percent, including 24,000 units created through new construction. The Mayor has refused every time, saying on September 21st, “No is the answer…I think our best hope going forward is the preventative efforts and the broader efforts to raise wages and benefits to get at the heart of the matter.” Advocates have pointed out that prevention strategies or raising wages do nothing to address the needs of the over 61,000 New Yorkers who are currently homeless.
Statements from the action are below:
“I shook the Mayor’s hand this morning, and asked why he wouldn’t do more to help homeless New Yorkers like myself. I am 72 years old and have been homeless for three years, but he made it clear that his morning workout was more important to him. We’re not asking for much: commit 30,000 units out of your housing plan for homeless New Yorkers. Every time we ask him to do more for homeless New Yorkers, he changes the subject to prevention and the economy–but am I just supposed to stay homeless?” asked Nathylin Flowers Adesegun, Community Leader at VOCAL-NY.
“I am lucky: my time in the shelter system was shorter than most people’s time there. I was homeless for over a year and a half, but last week I finally moved into my apartment. I am grateful. But I know what it feels like to compete for such a limited amount of housing. If Mayor de Blasio wants to be remembered as a real progressive, he’ll have to commit substantial resources towards rehousing over 61,000 people in our city,” said GG Morgan, Housing Organizer at VOCAL-NY.
“Mayor de Blasio may love working out, but his plan for housing homeless New Yorkers is just weak. A mere 5 percent of the units in his plan are set aside for homeless families, at a time when homelessness continues at near-record levels. This is simply unacceptable and perpetuates the ‘Tale of Two Cities’ he vowed to fix. The Mayor must set aside 10 percent of his total plan for homeless New Yorkers, including 24,000 units to be created through new construction, in order to make a meaningful reduction in record homelessness,” said Giselle Routhier, Policy Director at Coalition for the Homeless.
CityLimits: De Blasio has no comprehensive plan to rehouse the homeless
WNYC: The Brian Lehrer Show-Ask the Mayor (minute 6:00)
NYNMedia: NYC’s affordable housing push leaves out key group—homeless individuals and families
CityLimits: De Blasio can fulfill his progressive promise by retooling his housing plan