If Orange Is The New Black, Homeless Is The New Orange

Orange Is The New Black

“Orange is the New Black,” which is a book about a woman’s experience being incarcerated, conveys multiple prison protocols that mirror so many shelter protocols and administrative attitudes. Sadly, I don’t find this shocking since I have a case worker who told me, “These are the same questions you get asked when you get arrested” when I queried about the relevance of certain questions she was asking me. SMH!

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The Health Dangers Of Micro-Apartments And Living In Cramped Spaces

What Is A Micro UnitDefying laws set in the 1980s, New York City is now creating more micro apartments. These tiny living spaces are being marketed to tenants who are increasingly having great difficulties navigating New York City’s absurdly expensive housing market. Researchers are warning of the health dangers of residing in these cramped living spaces.

According to the Observer, the director of design for human health at Boston Architectural College has stated that living in micro-apartments can be very unhealthy and can exacerbate stress factors for people who live in them. He sites the increase of domestic abuse, alcoholism, and claustrophobia that occurs when people live in extremely close quarters.

Researchers also point out the damage that is likely to be caused to children who live in cramped spaces. The director of Housing Environments Research Group is quoted in the Observer by saying that children who live in crowded apartments can become “withdrawn and have trouble studying and concentrating.”

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Homeless New Yorker Stat Of The Day: 5/26/16

HMLS New Yorker

New York’s inclusionary zoning program is a voluntary program that is available to developers. This program allows developers to build 33% more square feet than is usually permitted if the developer agrees to set aside 20% of the available units in their development for affordable housing.

According to an survey done by a NYC councilman, the inclusionary zoning program generated only less than 3,000 new affordable housing units between 2005 to mid-2013.

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The 100 SQ FT NYC Apartment

100 Square Foot Apartment Part w

100 Square Foot Apartment

There is literally a 100 sq ft “apartment” on the market. The closet-sized abode is being marketed on a popular apartment hunting site. The rent is listed at $1,100. The apartment is located in a posh Upper West Side neighborhood. The location is being touted as a selling point. However, it is admittedly “so small you have to move the bed just to open and close the front door.” The agent also states that, “It’s so small there’s a bumper on the front door to keep it from hitting the back door.” Really?! This is what New York has come to?! SMH!

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Homeless New Yorker Stat Of The Day: 5/20/16

HMLS New Yorker

“NYCHA’s wait list for the Section 8 program has been closed since 2007, except for veterans who receive Section 8 through the Veteran’s Affairs Supportive Housing (VASH) program. As of November 2015, there are over 148,000 families on the Section 8 wait list.” -From, Social Indicators Report

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The Legal Definition Of Independent Living Plan (ILP)

HMLS New Yorker

18 CRR-NY 352.35 defines an independent living plan as follows: “A plan developed and/or revised by a social services district and/or its designee, with the cooperation of an individual or family, which sets forth a strategy for meeting such individual’s or family’s housing-related public assistance and care needs as identified in an assessment and for obtaining housing other than temporary housing and which establishes such individual’s or family’s responsibilities during their receipt of temporary housing assistance and specifies the conditions upon which temporary housing assistance will be provided. An independent living plan also must specify the temporary housing facility, if any, to which the individual or family has been or will be referred, any requirements of such facility, and the expected duration of the individual’s or family’s receipt of temporary housing assistance.”

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Homeless New Yorker Stat Of The Day: 5/19/16

HMLS New Yorker

In 2014, the neighborhoods with the highest foreclosure filing rates were in Bronx Community District 4 (53.04 per 1,000 households), Brooklyn Community District 16 (44.36 per 1,000 households), and Bronx Community District 5 (43.88 per 1,000 households).

[SOURCE: Social Indicators Report. April 2016.]

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Clusters & The Cluster Phase Out

Cluster NYC Bunk Bed

Cluster sites are privately-owned apartment buildings that are used to shelter homeless New York City families. Landlords of these buildings receive an arguably exorbitant amount of money from the City to house homeless families. However, despite this reported influx of cash, cluster sites have become notorious for their squalid and dangerous conditions. Presumably, the notorious condition of cluster sites is the catalyst for their phase-out.

According to NYC’s Social Indicators Report of April 2016: “In January 2016, the Mayor announced a three-year plan to phase out the use of “cluster sites” to house homeless families. For the past 16 years, the City has been placing families in these apartments in privately owned buildings across the City. A review ordered by the Mayor found that cluster sites represent the worst combination of high cost, disrepair, and poor access to the services homeless families need.

The City intends to replace the shelter capacity of these units with new housing models and, if needed, additional temporary shelter with appropriate social services.

The approximately 3,000 cluster site units that currently exist will either be converted back to low-rent permanent housing – after working with the landlords on needed repairs – or alternative shelter arrangements will be provided to residents by December 31, 2018.”

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