Press Statements

VOCAL-NY Applauds NYC Council for Passing Homeless Sweeps Reporting Bill

December 20, 2023

CONTACT: Mariah McGough, 


NEW YORK — Today, in response to the New York City Council passing Int. 1153, legislation sponsored by Councilmember Sandy Nurse and Shahana Hanif, will bring transparency and accountability to the City when permanently or temporarily removing homeless people from a location, also known as “sweeps.”

We’re appreciative of Council Members Sandy Nurse and Shahana Hanif’s leadership in working with us to pass this legislation that’ll allow us to have greater transparency and accountability concerning the decades-long inhumane practice of encampment sweeps,said Althea Matthews, a Homelessness Union Leader with VOCAL-NY. “We cannot waste dire governmental resources on criminalizing homeless New Yorkers and call on Mayor Adams to adhere to caring and compassionate principles by abandoning this harmful practice. If the Mayor truly cares about ending homelessness, connecting street homeless New Yorkers to permanent housing must be a priority, not disappearing those in need.” 


Intro 1153 requires two reports be produced. The first is a report that requires the Commissioner of DSS, in coordination with the NYPD, Parks Department, and Sanitation Department, on the frequency of sweeps, how and when the sweeps occurred, and the estimated cost of the sweeps, among other factors. 

The second report will shed light on the removals and outcomes, including the number of people arrested during the removal and if people were offered housing vouchers, application, or permanent or supportive housing. 

Intro 1153 builds on Comptroller Brad Lander’s June 2023 Audit, which found that only 3 people were placed into permanent housing out of the 2,308 individuals impacted by these removals during an 8-month period. 


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