Under the Bloomberg administration, New York City has become a national model for how to reduce unsheltered and chronic homelessness. This policy brief—based on interviews with city officials, service providers, and national experts, as well as a review of public documents—describes the administration’s policies for reducing street homelessness and developing supportive housing; the results of those policies; and the major policy issues that the next administration will have to address. Under the Bloomberg administration, the city has built a system for moving chronically homeless individuals off the streets and into permanent housing. The major policy innovations in this area were restructuring the contracts for homeless street outreach, developing alternatives to shelter for the chronically homeless, and, in partnership with New York State, creating thousands of supportive housing units for people experiencing or at risk of homelessness. As a result, the number of people living on the street has been reduced by 28 percent and the number of individuals experiencing chronic homelessness has been reduced by 59 percent.1 These gains are not irreversible, however, and additional progress relies on continued focus on permanent housing placements among street outreach providers and increased investment in supportive housing. Read more.
Innovations in NYC Health & Human Services Policy: Street Homelessness and Supportive Housing