SOURCE: Institute for Children and Poverty

Institute for Children and Poverty

October 21, 2013 16:39 ET

New Yorkers Disapprove of Bloomberg's Approach to Homelessness, ICPH Poll Finds

Two-Thirds Reject More Rental Subsidies in Favor of Better Job Training

NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwired - October 21, 2013) - Mayor Bloomberg's 48% general approval rating drops to 23% across New York City when only his homelessness policies are considered, according to a new poll completed by the Institute for Children, Poverty, and Homelessness (ICPH) in conjunction with Baruch College. The stark disapproval of Bloomberg's approach to homelessness is even more glaring in Manhattan, where his approval rating plummets 34 points, from 54% to 20%, when respondents were asked about his homelessness policies.

  • 75% of New Yorkers were unaware of the number of children sleeping in city shelters -- a number that has now surpassed 21,000.
  • Almost 1 in 4 New Yorkers (23%) reported knowing someone who had recently become homeless, up from 19% in 2010.

"Mayor Bloomberg's legacy is one of vast homelessness and inequality," said Ralph da Costa Nunez, president and CEO of the Institute for Children, Poverty, and Homelessness. "He is leaving the new mayor with a record-breaking homeless population of 50,000 people -- 21,000 of whom are children. This poll suggests a majority of New Yorkers agree that the swift reduction of homelessness needs to be a priority for the next mayor of New York City."

The Policy Debate

The poll delves into New Yorkers' varied opinions on policies, programs, and ideas often debated among city leaders, advocates, and service providers. These include the right to shelter, shelter time limits, rental subsidies, and job training. A majority of New Yorkers (57%) favor limiting the amount of time clients are allowed to stay in city shelters, while 51% believe that New York City's shelters should be open to people from around the world. Additionally, 67% of New Yorkers reject more rental subsidies in favor of improved job training to help the city's homeless population. Only 13% support more rental subsidies and 15% support of a combination of both.

"New Yorkers have expressed their dissatisfaction with the homelessness policies of the Bloomberg administration, even if they have yet to fully understand the extent of the problem New York City now faces," Dr. Nunez continued. "Pragmatic public policy requires a fresh vision and serious commitment from the new mayor."

The Institute for Children, Poverty, and Homelessness (ICPH) is an independent nonprofit research and policy-analysis organization based in New York City. ICPH studies the impact of poverty on family and child well-being and generates research that will enhance public policies and programs affecting poor or homeless children and their families. Specifically, ICPH examines the condition of extreme poverty in the United States and its effect on educational attainment, housing, employment, child welfare, domestic violence, and family wellness. Learn more at www.ICPHusa.org and find ICPH on Facebook and Twitter.

For more information on borough breakdowns and trends by race or party affiliation, contact Katie Linek or Linda Bazerjian at 212-358-8086, ext. 1207 and 1204, respectively.

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