Governor Cuomo Demands That The MTA Deal With Its Homeless Problem

Governor Cuomo

Governor Cuomo recently stated that the issue with homeless people usurping New York City’s train system is “worse than ever.” NYC’s governor also tasked the MTA with solving the problem, stating that the problem is solely under the jurisdiction of the MTA, and “they will be held accountable” for it.

According to CBS News, in a letter to the MTA board of directors issued Friday, Governor Cuomo stated the following about the current situation of homeless New Yorkers proliferating in the subway system: “While crime may reportedly be down on the subways, the number of homeless people is up, and it is directly impacting service to riders.
In 2018, there were 1,771 homeless people living in the subway — that number surged to 2,178 in 2019, an increase of 23%. According to the MTA’s own statistics, trains were delayed 659 times in 2018 by homeless people who were walking on tracks, and engaging in disruptive and often dangerous behavior including blocking train doors—a staggering 54% increase from the 428 homeless related delays in 2014. And that number is getting worse: in the first three months of this year, the MTA reports that there have already been 313 homeless related train delays. Over the last decade, the number of incidents more than tripled, from 254 in 2008 to 856 last year.
New Yorkers are unfortunately accustomed to having homeless issues on the trains and in the terminals during the winter months, but this has now become a year-round phenomenon.”

Governor Cuomo also demanded that the MTA quickly come up with a plan to combat homelessness in their Reorganization Plan, stating: “The Reorganization Plan legally due by the end of July provides the opportunity to not only address the administrative changes but also the protracted issue of homelessness in the MTA, and you should demand that it does and that the plan be compassionate, pragmatic and effective.”

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Homeless New Yorker Stat: New York City Street Homeless

HMLS New Yorker

The term, “street homeless,” is used to described homeless people who are not in the homeless shelter system, and instead live on the streets.

According to a recent New York Daily News article, the number of street homeless in New York City increased in 2017 by 39%. The article states that in 2016 there were 2,838 people in New York City who were street homeless. In 2017, that statistic skyrocketed to 3,936.

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Homeless New Yorker Stat: The Rise Of Street Homelessness

HMLS New Yorker

According to a recent article in The Gothamist, estimates have stated that there is a 39% rise in street homelessness in New York City in 2017, from the year before. This estimate is based on a federally mandated count done by volunteers in February of 2017.

It should be noted that, according to The Gothamist, several entities have voiced concerns about the flawed nature of the count. Advocates have stated that fluctuations, lack of volunteers’ training, the amount of volunteers, the weather on the day of the count, and the people who are omitted from the count (such as homeless people who sleep in bank vestibules and public spaces), cause the tally to reflect a great underestimation.

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