Former Council Speaker Warns NYC's Homeless Crisis Could Worsen Once Evictions Resume

Marla Diamond
May 12, 2020 - 9:03 am

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    NEW YORK (WCBS 880) — Currently landlords cannot evict tenants who can't pay their rent, but former New York City Council Speaker Christine Quinn predicts when the state mandate expires August 20th there will be a tidal wave of homelessness.

    "That is what is keeping me up at night because the facts, the datas and the numbers make that reality very clear, unless there is action," Quinn tells WCBS 880's Marla Diamond. "We will go from crisis to catastrophe literally overnight."

    Quinn, who is now the president of the city's largest provider of family shelter and supportive housing, says the city must fund emergency rental vouchers for low income tenants, temporarily re-house the homeless in dorms and vacant hotels, convert vacant hotels into family shelters, and expand a rent supplement program for families with children receiving cash assistance.

    "People don't want shelters in their neighborhood, I get it, but where are people going to go," said Quinn, the CEO of WIN, which has released a five-point housing stability and recovery plan called, “The Aftermath Plan: Responding to Homelessness in the Wake of COVID-19.”

    The mayor's office says they've spent millions helping renters on the brink of eviction and are using commercial hotel rooms to keep people off the street and subways.

    City Hall says evictions in the five boroughs have dropped 40 percent since Mayor Bill de Blasio took office.

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