NICOLE MALLIOTAKIS – Mayor
Since Bill de Blasio took office, the homeless population in our city’s shelters and streets have hit an all-time high. A June report issued by the NYC Department of Homeless Services shared that street homeless has gone up nearly 40% this past year alone. Instead of being proactive about providing opportunities to help transition individuals out of the shelter system and addressing some of the underlying issues of homelessness like substance abuse, mental illness, domestic violence, or lack of employment, Bill de Blasio is proposing to build 90 homeless shelters across the city in our neighborhoods.
Nicole rejects the idea of trying to hide the problem in your backyard. She will address the root cause of homelessness and get homeless families the help they need and instead of building homeless shelters that trap people in a rotating door, she will use funds to build supportive and affordable housing.
J. C. POLANCO – Public Advocate
Tens of thousands of our fellow New Yorkers today are homeless. These New Yorkers need a hand up, from mental health counseling, substance abuse, financial literacy support and job training. As Public Advocate, I will work with the City Council and state government to expand mental health counseling and job training to improve the lives of these New Yorkers. Simply putting a Band-Aid on this issue by creating new shelters in our neighborhoods is not the answer.
New York City continues to see incredible over-development. This puts incredible burdens on an already overburdened infrastructure. Politicians continue to over-promise and under-deliver. The truth is we need to work with neighboring counties and state government to improve transportation to and from New York City.
There are hundreds of miles of unused rail in New York City and neighboring areas where vacancy rates will allow for mobility of thousands of families. I will begin the discussion of alleviate the housing crisis by improving commuter rail, ferry and express buses.
MICHEL FAULKNER – Comptroller
The New York City Housing Authority’s mission is to increase opportunities for low- and moderate-income New Yorkers by providing safe, affordable housing and facilitating access to social and community services. More than 400,000 New Yorkers reside in NYCHA’s 326 public housing developments across the City’s five boroughs. Another 235,000 receive subsidized rental assistance in private homes through the NYCHA-administered Section 8 Leased Housing Program.
For too long, public housing residents have been forced to live in conditions that are unacceptable. The City has known this for years, but has done nothing about it because most elected officials take the residents of these developments (and their votes) for granted. I have spent my life working in communities like public housing and, as Comptroller, I will force the Mayor, the City Council and the Federal and State government into action. Support the NYCHA bill of rights, whether you are a resident of public housing or just a concerned citizen. NYC government should not remain the worst slumlord in the City.
REBECCA HARARY – City Council, District 4
Like you, Rebecca cannot bear to see even one more family, veteran, or unemployed person become homeless. Living on the streets of NYC is beneath anyone’s dignity. Yet, our Mayor has decided that the best way to solve the problem – at a cost to New Yorkers of over $400,000 per night – is to put homeless people in hotels and motels throughout New York City. Or, to build more homeless shelters in neighborhoods where no one wants the inherent risks of drug dealing and crime. How does this help the homelessness plight? Mayor DeBlasio is simply bandaging the issue – putting thousands of our homeless New Yorkers at risk and making it even more difficult to escape the Cycle of Homelessness.
Homeless, adult New Yorkers need real help. Instead of more anti-quality of life laws allowing homeless people to urinate on our streets – another example of bandaging the issue and perpetuating the Cycle of Homelessness – we need to find ways to help the homeless obtain job training and drug addiction counseling. And we need to STOP DE BLASIO from unnecessarily spending our hard earned tax dollars on hotel rooms and more homeless shelters.
That’s how Propel Network (www.ThePropelNetwork.org) was born. Rebecca recognized that women whose families were suffering under great financial burden could not find jobs – mainly because they had no formal vocational training. Through tax-deductible donations, Propel Network pays the tuition for women who need to learn job skills and, upon graduating their vocational programs, these women enter the workforce with a marketable job skill. These same women are now supporting their families as accountants, paralegals, graphic designers, etc. It’s a win-win.
When Rebecca becomes City Councilwoman, she’ll work to break the Cycle of Homelessness – giving the homeless a place to stay today, and an education for tomorrow. Rebecca will push for increased access to vocational job training for the homeless, providing subsidized housing to those who enroll. Additionally, she will work to reform how our tax dollars are spent on the homeless. Money needs to be directed toward vocational training and drug addiction counseling. In doing so, thousands of homeless New Yorkers will be able to start anew – with the promise of a brighter future for their families, and for themselves.
FRANK J. SCALA – Borough President
Asked what, if elected, his top priority would be, he answered “everything,” though in particular he is concerned about the homeless and how the issue impacts quality of life in the city. Gesturing towards the window of his mezzanine level shop that faces Fifth Avenue, he said a homeless man had taken up residence across the street at a vacant lot. On the avenue, he said, the presence of homeless people has increased, including some that panhandle aggressively “and nobody does anything about it,” said Scala. “People are scared. Are they a poor person or a criminal? They don’t know. They (the homeless) stop tourists and they get scared.” – Town & Village