New York City Secretly Exports Homeless To Other US States, Paying For One Full Year Of Rent
New York City ships off homeless people to every corner of America, and even pays for their rent, according to reports.
City officials are said to have sent homeless families to 323 cities across the country, paying for one full year of rent as part of Mayor Bill de Blasio’s ‘Special One-Time Assistance Program’ (SOTA).
According to Department of Homeless Services data seen by the New York Post, taxpayers have spent $89 million on rent alone since the programme began back in August 2017, exporting 5,074 homeless families – which equates to 12,482 individuals – to places such as Newark and the South Pacific. Families who previously lived in city shelters have been moved to 32 different states, as well as Puerto Rico.
The publication reports the data didn’t disclose the cost of furnishings, however one recipient of the homeless export said she received $1,000 for them.
The Department of Homeless Services has defended the huge financial costs, claiming it saves the city money by comparison of what it would spend on shelters, which amounts to around $41,000 annually per family, compared to the average yearly rent of $17,563 to house families elsewhere.
Meanwhile, critics have said the ‘stop-gap solution’ has been inundated with problems and has failed to help the city’s homelessness.
Officials in towns where homeless exports have landed have complained about the scheme and many of the families are said to be returning to the five boroughs, with some even suing NYC over being abandoned in barely liveable conditions.
Jacquelyn Simone, policy analyst at Coalition for the Homeless, said:
We were initially seeing a lot of complaints about conditions. Now that the program has been in operation long enough that the SOTA subsidy is expiring, one of our main concerns is it might not be realistic for people to be entirely self-sufficient after that first year.
The Department of Homeless Services said that 224 families have ended up back in New York City shelters.
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