Low-Income Tenants Evicted to House Homeless
In NYC, apartments earn more as homeless shelters than as private rentals
By Ruth Brown, Newser Staff
Posted Aug 12, 2013 7:21 PM CDT
Residents of a homeless shelter in Brooklyn.   (AP Photo/Kathy Willens, file)

(Newser) – Here's a head-scratcher. New York City's homeless shelters are full. So to find more space for the city's homeless, the city has been renting apartments in low-income neighborhoods. Only the city pays above market rate, which means the actual tenants of these apartments are being pushed out, and now they're facing homelessness, WNYC reports. Apartments rented for shelter space have increased 66% since 2011, when the city and state pulled the plug on programs to help find people permanant housing. The number of people in New York City’s shelter system is now around a record 50,000.

New York City pays about $3,000 a month to landlords, part of which goes to security and caseworkers. Melvina McMillan, 40, who lives in a roach-infested building in Flatbush now increasingly used to shelter the homeless, pays $700 a month. The Department of Homeless Services tells WNYC that it "simply [is] not going to allow anything to happen where tenants feel pushed out for our purposes." But McMillan says she's fighting to stay in her apartment, and has nowhere else to go. Ironically, if she ends up on the street, she could move back into the building—it would cost her nothing and taxpayers $3,000.

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Showing 3 of 91 comments
Antagonist
Aug 26, 2013 12:47 PM CDT
WTF????????? Seems like the City is" Slum Lord Millionaire" off of the taxpayer money.
Ivan_the_Gypsy
Aug 13, 2013 10:51 AM CDT
This adds a new meaning to the term "Slum Lord." These slum lords are obviously politically connected.
bonzai18
Aug 13, 2013 10:16 AM CDT
DUH!!!