NEW YORK (WCBS 880) — City Council Speaker Corey Johnson on Thursday announced a sweeping new plan to deal with the homelessness crisis in New York City.
“This is, without exaggeration, a humanitarian crisis,” Johnson said on the steps of City Hall.
The 38-year-old speaker says that when it comes to homelessness, the city has been lurching from one crisis to the next – never solving the issue.
On Thursday, he presented a 200-page blueprint to, hopefully, finally solve the problem.
“It really is about reprioritizing and focusing on permanent affordable housing, on safe haven beds for New Yorkers who are chronically homeless, on calling for the state to come up with the support and money that we need to actually get through the crisis that we are in,” Johnson said.
His plan – “Our Humanitarian Crisis: The Case For Change” – calls for increasing the value of rental vouchers, creating a team to work with homeless individuals who live on the street and create a deputy mayor position to focus on homelessness and housing.
Currently, rental vouchers mandate homeless individuals find two-bedroom apartments that cost below $1,580 a month – something the council speaker says is “quite literally impossible.”
Johnson also wants to establish a council unit dedicated to working with communities to address concerns about developing supportive housing centers.
Mayor Bill de Blasio previously released his own plan to address the homeless crisis in December.
Johnson says his own plan was inspired by his mother, who works with the homeless population in Salem, Massachusetts.