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NYC: Where Bonuses Rise, and The Working Poor Still End Up Homeless

Posted on Mar 14, 2014

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In New York City in 2013, Wall Street bonuses jumped 15 percent. “The average bonus rose to $164,530 ... in 2013, with total bonus payments rising to $26.7bn,” the BBC reported this week, citing a statement by New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli.

Although the sky may be the limit for a select few, the outlook is far bleaker for a growing number of New York City’s poor. New York homeless shelters are facing record demand with an average of more than 50,000 people staying there per night. This figure, which includes 22,712 children, represents a 7 percent increase from January 2013 to January 2014. But the problem, according to a report released by the Coalition for the Homeless, isn’t always about joblessness (via The Guardian):

Also alarming is the number of people who have jobs, but no home. The report found that more than one in four homeless families in city shelters is headed by a working adult; and one of every six homeless single adults is employed. According to city data, the number of working homeless people has increased by 57% from November 2010 to July 2013.

The report blames the city’s homeless crisis on a combination of factors. It cites the “disastrous homeless policies” implemented by then-mayor Michael Bloomberg; the city’s worsening housing affordability; and the growing income inequality gap.

The Coalition for the Homeless report also includes some suggestions for New York City’s new mayor, Bill de Blasio, such as restoring long-term housing subsidies and finding new ways to create more permanent housing solutions. De Blasio has pledged to “preserve or construct nearly 200,000 units of affordable housing.”

—Posted by Donald Kaufman. 

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