Homelessness is solvable.
Every New Yorker, no matter their age, race or family composition, should be able to have a safe, stable and healthy home.
New York City must focus on providing actual homes--not just shelter--to those in need. By prioritizing prevention instead of warehousing people in shelters, the city can create a true housing first system.
We don’t need more resources, studies or shelters to solve homelessness. We need swift action to prevent homelessness in the first place and house those currently in shelters. And there has never been a better opportunity to fix our homeless service system, given the urgency created by the pandemic.
Our city has the ability to end homelessness, but our leaders need to understand how to do it. RxHome has studied best practices and success stories to determine the key factors that allow a city to create a comprehensive system committed to ending and preventing homelessness.
The next mayor must restructure city government to better tackle homelessness, including appointing a deputy mayor responsible for managing all city initiatives and agencies that provide housing and homeless services.
Commit to ending homelessness, starting with City Hall.
Restructure City Hall leadership portfolios by putting a single Deputy Mayor in charge of overseeing housing and homeless services for all New Yorkers.
Change the mission and goal of all agencies that work with New Yorkers experiencing homelessness to reflect the overarching citywide goal of ending homelessness in New York City to allow for true collaboration and eliminate silos.
Create a dedicated, empowered cross-agency team responsible for implementing a Citywide collaborative approach to providing services to all New Yorkers experiencing or at risk of homelessness and achieving population level reductions.
Acknowledge that homelessness is a result of racial discrimination and use a racial equity lens to change the homeless service system in New York City.
The city must implement housing first policies in NYC that prevent and end homelessness to help people stay in their homes and increase access to permanent, affordable housing.
Prevent homelessness from happening in the first place by expanding access to and the flexibility of City rental assistance programs.
Expand affordable housing stock. New York City can't build or rezone its way out of homelessness. We have the tools available to create new affordable housing by:
Rapidly rehouse New Yorkers experiencing homelessness by:
The city can more efficiently structure its homeless services response by creating one centralized system to log the needs of those experiencing homelessness. This coordinated entry system will ensure the response reflects what’s actually needed.
Revise and reissue city homeless service contracts in order to implement results-driven contracting strategies into homeless service and prevention assistance contracts.
Implement a true single coordinated entry and housing placement system for all New Yorkers at risk of or experiencing homelessness.
Stop the haphazard expansion of the shelter system by building and acquiring new shelter facilities.
The city must widen the tent to recruit partners and collaborators to help end homelessness in NYC beyond the housing and social service sector.
Affirm that homelessness is a public health crisis, and partner with healthcare providers and institutions to create healthy places for New Yorkers to live.
Partner with philanthropy, and business to create public/private funding pools that provide flexible resources and expand rental assistance.
Invest in capacity building for nonprofit service providers to ensure they have the tools, skills and support they need to end homelessness.
Fund technology and tools that allow for public reporting of the city's progress towards ending homelessness.