How to Help the Homeless in New York and Other High-Cost Cities

Source: New York Times, Room for Debate, December 1, 2015

Even as rates of homelessness decline nationally, the number of homeless continues to rise in many cities with high-cost housing markets, like New York City. While the cost of living in these cities has skyrocketed, wages remain stagnant for many low- and middle-income residents — so much so that half of New York City residents say they can barely make ends meet. How can cities with high-cost housing markets, like New York, better serve the homeless?…

Debaters include:
We Know What Works, Now We Need More Funding
Mary Brosnahan, Coalition for the Homeless
Many low-income New Yorkers are a victim of the city’s newfound success. They need access to affordable, or supportive, housing.

Ease Regulation to Free Up Affordable Housing
Howard Husock, Manhattan Institute
As more units come on the market, upward pressure on market-rent costs would ebb, and supply would be adjusted to demand.

Prevent Families From Being Driven Out of Their Homes
Barika X. Williams, Association for Neighborhood and Housing Development
We can’t build our way out of the crisis. Low-income renters need legal and social help in the face of abusive landlords and illegal rent hikes.

Medicaid Can Provide Funding for Support Services
Nan Roman, National Alliance to End Homelessness
It’s a win-win: Government funds are freed up to be invested in housing and Medicaid saves money on acute and inpatient care of the homeless.

Support Community Land Trusts for Affordable Housing
William S. Burnett, Picture the Homeless
Large-scale solutions have to provide permanent stability for at-risk residents, as well as respect for the autonomy of individuals and communities.