Thursday, September 15, 2011

Statement by Council General Welfare Chair Annabel Palma on Judicial Decision Related to the Work Advantage Program

From the e-mail just sent by Welfare Chair Annabel Palma, we can safely assume a decision related to the abrupt termination of the Work Advantage Program has been rendered by our judicial system. I look forward to reviewing the official verdict since it has major ramifications for individuals in the shelter system, those trying to get out of it and the landlords that believed a contract with the city meant something.

This is a serious issue that has gone virtually unnoticed by the main stream media, even though the article I wrote back in March of 2011 has become the highest read and commented article ever in the four year existence of the BoogieDowner blog. The article received 3,140 hits to date with 63 comments posted mostly by landlords and people trying to exit the NYC shelter system. Much of what needed to be said has already been said so I will not repeat myself, even though I can write pages on this topic related to the devastation and opportunity it will create. Unfortunately the opportunity will be made on the backs of those trying to exit the shelter system and landlords who purchased properties and rented to tenants who were given the rent voucher backed by NYC. Anyone interested is welcomed to review the original article, with reader comments, posted on 3/18/2011. I firmly believe this decisions related to the termination of the Work Advantage Program will have a significant gentrifying impact on many of the poorest neighborhoods in the South Bronx and push many more home owners who believed in the Bronx into foreclosure. If anyone wanted confirmation that the pen is mightier than the sword, I think this is a prime example.

Statement by Council General Welfare Chair Annabel Palma on Judicial Decision Related to the Work Advantagge Program

In Response to the Recent Judicial Decision on the Advantage Program
The recent court decision regarding the Advantage program is extremely disappointing for the nearly 12,000 families who have relied on the program and will now likely be facing eviction and a possible return to the shelter system. This decision will not only have a devastating effect on these families, but will also hurt the landlords who contracted with the City and will likely inundate housing courts with a rush of eviction proceedings. All parties suffer from the ripple effect of this decision.
The Advantage program, which provided two years of rental assistance for the formerly homeless, was the only program to transition individuals from the shelter system into permanent housing. The elimination of the Advantage program leaves a serious void in the City’s homeless policy. It is my sincere hope that the administration will do the right thing and find a way to honor the commitment it made to these individuals in spite of this decision. Nonetheless, it is clear that the City needs to create an adequate long-term homeless policy and I look forward to working with all stakeholders towards this end.

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