Mayor Michael Bloomberg plans to cut his signature housing program for homeless families to help close the city’s budget gap. The program called, Advantage was designed to help homeless families out of shelters and into apartments. Advantage pays about 1,100 a month toward rent for no more than two years and requires at least one member of the family to work a minimum of 20 hours a week.
The idea was that after two years the family would begin paying it’s own way. The fragile economy combined with the nearly comatose job market and the program became a revolving door back to homelessness. Of the 7,272 families that left the Advantage program about 51% ultimately wound up either obtaining other subsidized housing or reapplying for shelter. Of 2,190 that re-applied 1,461 were back in shelters as of January.
Now, the city that has failed them will throw their hands up in the air and ask ‘What can we do?’ How about we try and fix the program that was supposed to fix everything? Instead of putting hundreds of families on the streets with nowhere to go.