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March 8, 2007

As with Mayor Bloomberg’s plan to boost New York City residents’ participation in the Food Stamp program, his plan to decrease the number of homeless families has also floundered and hit a wall. The Coalition for the Homeless released its eighth-annual “State of the Homeless” report. As part of its assessment, the report analyzes Mayor Bloomberg’s five-year homeless plan at its midpoint and proposes reforms that would achieve the plan’s goals. Instead of decreasing the number of homeless families from 8,850 at the plan’s inception on August 2004 to the projected 7,400 by this point, the number of homeless families has increased to last month’s record total of 9,287. The report attributes the rise in homeless families mostly to the City’s flawed Housing Stability Plus program (HSP), which is meant to move families into permanent housing by providing them declining rent subsidies. The report found that the number of homeless families moved to permanent housing fell by 11% last year, and that HSP moved fewer families in its second year than in its first.

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