The ramifications for the government defaulting on its promise to pay are massive. Firstly the NYC homeless population, which includes entire families, is expected to double. Secondly, any property owner who had tenants in the program will no longer receive monthly payments. This is massive. Instead of steady rent checks from the government they will be forced into litigation to evict tenants and spend thousands on legal fees which many cannot afford. For landlords who heavily depended on the program, many will not be able to repay bank loans causing additional strain on our banking system.
Some might cheer these draconian cuts, if they are not in the homeless shelter system or landowners who accepted the program. It's reasonable to think money will be saved. This will not be the case. Every major property manager I called said the cost to house an individual or family through the Work Advantage program is a fraction of the cost needed to house the people in the NYC Shelter system. The cost to build the estimated 70 shelters needed in NYC to house the new homeless, along with other assistance programs usually included in the package, will be much greater. Hundreds of millions will be made from the homeless and societies need to house them. Political insiders who secure the contracts will make money hand over fist. The homeless and the middle class taxpayer will suffer again. Please do read the e-mail comment sent from a mother presently living in the NYC homeless shelter system. It was sent a few days ago. I believe it to be true and the most honest statement ever posted on my blog site.
Information taken from Department of Homeless Services web site:
FAQ FOR INDIVIDUALS AFFECTED BY THE ELIMINATION OF ADVANTAGE
Q: Why is the Advantage program ending?
The proposed State Budget withdraws all federal and state support for the program which terminates the City’s authority and fiscal ability to run the Advantage program. The City strongly disagrees with the State’s decision.
Q: When will the subsidy end?
The program is terminated effective immediately. There will be no rent payments by the City on April 1, 2011.
Quote taken from BoogieDown reader on earlier post:
“I am in a state of panic. I lived in the system with my children and grandchildren for almost three years. We were treated like criminals. You become the property of the system. The case managers don’t do anything to help. They hardly show up! This is very true. Curfews, sign in, sign out. I have the Work Advantage program and am praying that I have my apartment by the end of this year. This will have a devastating effect on all, especially the children. I personally will become another statistic on the street. I refuse to be held hostage by the system again. What confuses me is the shelters charge over $3,000.00 dollars a month, plus food stamps and cash assistance. Does this sound like the government is saving money? I know that would be at least $2,000.00 more a month than letting me keep my home. I might add too that HRA is guilty of NOT helping with Child Support. They can make all the appointments in the world for you and tell you, you will be sanctioned if you don’t comply but they do nothing with all the information you give them. And as much as I can’t stand Mayor Bloomberg, this is not his doing. This is our Governors decision. Don’t tax the wealthy and throw the poor out on the streets. It’s a damn shame and I pray real hard that somebody is fighting for us because I will not survive the loss of a home again. My family and I were in the shelter system for five months before we saw food stamps. And while my family lost over 60 pounds, case mangers kept telling us to keep drinking water! Dear God, I feel sick to my stomach right now with nerves!! I want to be positive but I can’t. We already lost so much. I pray that somebody with money is out there fighting for us. At the rate things are going, the only people living in NY will be millionaires and tourists.”