New York City's spending on homelessness climbs to $3.2B this year

College professor blames capitalism for rise in homelessness in America

Economist Ben Stein discusses how a college professor blamed capitalism for the rise in homelessness in American.

New York City’s spending on homelessness more than doubled between 2014 and 2019 to $3.2 billion, according to a report released Wednesday by City Comptroller Scott Stringer.

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Despite increases in spending for homelessness prevention and permanent housing, the number of people in homeless shelters has remained high, resulting in higher costs, Stringer said in the report.

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While spending to combat homelessness has increased to $1 billion from $436 billion in 2014, the official New York City shelter census shows homelessness has increased by 11.5 percent since 2014, largely driven by the number of single adults, which has climbed by 57.6 percent. The adult family population in shelters, meanwhile, has increased by 34.6 percent.

As a result, shelter costs have also more than doubled, rising to $1.9 billion in the latest fiscal year.

The slow pace of progress to tackle our homelessness crisis is unacceptable – and fundamentally, it’s a moral crisis,” Stringer said in the report. “Our agency watch list report shows we need to do more to meet the crisis of affordable housing – it’s time we finally connect our housing plan with our homelessness policies.”

Currently, the city’s shelter population hovers around 60,000, although it hit an all-time high in January of 61,415 individuals.

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According to a report from the Coalition for the Homeless, a nonprofit organization, the number of people residing in New York shelters could rise by more than 5,000 people over the course of the next three years.

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