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

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“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)

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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

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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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The Side Effects Of Homelessness: The Cooking Hiatus

No Cooking

It’s really difficult not being able to cook your own meals. Restaurant food is expensive and salty! One of the things I miss is having a balanced, healthy diet, and being able to eat when you want to. It’s impossible to eat when you want to when you live in a shelter. There is no place to store food to keep it fresh, among several other obstacles that prevent basic, healthy eating.

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What Are Micro-Unit Apartments?

What Is A Micro Unit

Micro-unit apartments are also known as microapartments. Wikipedia defines microapartments as follows: “One-room, self-contained living space, usually purpose built, designed to accommodate a sitting space, sleeping space, bathroom and kitchenette.” The size of these compact apartments can be as small as 47 square feet.

Micro-unit apartments are much smaller than New York regulation’s minimum allowable size for an apartment of 400 square feet. This New York minimum standard was set in 1987. However, developers have found a way around meeting this standard. There have been developers who have received “waivers” excluding them from meeting this requirement. An example of this is Carmel Place, a nine-story building located at, 335 East 27th Street.

Astonishingly, the market rate for the Carmel Place micro-units were list as follows in November 2015, according to the New York Times: “A furnished 355-square-foot apartment on the second floor is listed at $2,910, while an unfurnished 360-square foot unit on the same floor is listed for $2,750- a $160-a-month discount. The lowest-priced unit listed, at $2,540, is a furnished 265-square foot studio on the third floor.” Also, 14 out of the 55 micro-units at Carmel Place were allegedly designated for “affordable housing” (priced at $950 per month).

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

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According to the Coalition for the Homeless, in 2014, the average yearly cost of sheltering a homeless adult in a NYC homeless shelter was $28,609. In the same year, the average yearly cost of sheltering a homeless family in a NYC homeless shelter was $37,047. Compare these figures to the statistic that the average yearly rent for a unit in New York City public housing was $5,568 in 2015. Now, ask yourself the reasonable questions that arise from reading the aforementioned statistics.

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What Is Rent Control?

NYC Rent Control Rules

Rent control is defined by Investopedia as follows: “A price control that limits the amount a property owner can charge for renting out a home, apartment or other real estate. Rent control acts as a price ceiling by preventing rents either from being charged above a certain level or from increasing at a rate higher than a predetermined percentage.”

Note that rent control does not necessarily mean that the housing under rent control will be affordable.  A landlord can increase the rent of a rent controlled unit every two years by 7.5% until the maximum base is reached.

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