Hevesi Questions Cuomo Management Expertise

December 4, 2015

NYS Assembly member and Social Services Chair Andrew Hevesi today released the following statement in response to Gov. Cuomo’s statements that the City can't manage the homeless crisis, and that he will provide management expertise:

"The Governor's track record of managing homelessness in New York has included claiming we resolved the problem; drastically reducing the State’s share of costs associated with homelessness and poverty; threatening to eliminate funds for shelters this summer; and casting blame for the crisis. If this is what Governor Cuomo has in mind when he talks about providing management expertise, thank you - but no thank you.”

Homeless Crisis

“Governor Cuomo recently said, ‘We had a terrible homeless problem. We resolved it. Now we are going back and we have a homeless problem spreading again.” (Oct. 26, 2015)

“We cannot trust someone to manage a problem who claimed that the problem had been resolved when it has been increasing since he took office.”

Shelter Conditions

“This summer, the Governor threatened to withhold State funds for homeless shelters in NYC, putting thousands of shelter residents at risk of being back on our streets, rather than recognizing that part of managing physical structures is proactively providing adequate resources to help pay for repairs to building systems, roofs, and other critical health and safety measures.”

“The cost of homeless shelters in NYC was $876.5 million in 2014, of which the Governor paid only $123.8 million, or 14 percent from State funds.”

OTDA Budget and Homelessness

“From 2012 to 2013 through 2015-2016 Governor Cuomo has cut state operating funds to OTDA by 13 percent ($365 million), a department which serves New York's most vulnerable citizens including the homeless and every New Yorker on Public Assistance, as well as human trafficking and domestic violence victims.”

“Governor Cuomo has continued the trend of cutting General Fund support for OTDA which was at $2.368 billion in 1995-1996 but is now at $1.361 Billion, a 43 percent reduction that has greatly exacerbated the current homeless crisis.”

“Governor Cuomo and other Governors used to pay for 25 percent of the cost of sheltering homeless families with children (TANF). Now the State pays zero.”

“For sheltering other families with children in NYC there has been a 44% cut from $97 million to $51 million in State funds between 2007 and 2014, even as the number of homeless families was going up.”

“New York State used to pay 50 percent of the cost of Safety Net Assistance for homeless Families, and now the state pays only 29 percent, leaving NYC and other localities to pay 71 percent.”

“The state used to pay $86 million per year for sheltering adults in NYC, or about 47 percent. Now the State pays only $73 million, or 21 percent, even as the adult shelter census continues to rise, leaving the City to pay the remaining $252 million as of 2014.”

“On an All Funds basis (which includes Federal grants) OTDA is currently at the same levels it was in 1996.”

“The Governor used to pay for 100 percent of the costs of Emergency Assistance for Families (TANF) using a Federal grant, but now requires NYC (but not other localities) to pay 10 percent.”

Housing Subsidies

“Governor Cuomo and the State ended the Advantage program without replacing it. That single action displaced tens of thousands of New Yorkers, including thousands of families and children, from their homes. To date the Governor has proposed nothing substantial to replace that program and has forced NYC to mostly go it alone on the Mayor’s new rental subsidy programs, with the State providing only $5 million to help pay for them this year.”

Allocation of Settlement Funds for Supportive Housing

“The State has received a total of $7.9 billion from monetary settlements in FY 2015 and FY 2016. Only $124.5 million of this went to supportive housing. Only $74.5 million of that small amount went to NEW supportive housing for homeless families and individuals. (The distinction is that $50 million of the $124.5 million is spread out over 5 years to pay for OLD supportive housing, not all of which serves homeless people.)”

"Governor Mario Cuomo matched Mayor Dinkins’ commitment to supportive housing. Governor Pataki matched both Mayor Giuliani’s and Mayor Bloomberg’s commitment to supportive housing. Governor Andrew Cuomo should not attempt to distract, spin, or avoid fulfilling his responsibility to match Mayor de Blasio’s commitment to supportive housing."