Mayoral Candidates & Family Homelessness: A Video Voters’ Guide


May 3, 2021

Between the year 2000 and the start of the pandemic, the number of homeless families in New York City roughly tripled. According to the 2019 HUD “point in time” count, homeless parents and their children made up more than half of the city’s total shelter population— 43,000 people living in family shelters, including almost 25,000 children under the age of 18. 95 percent of those families were Black and Latino and 69 percent were led by single mothers.

Though the number of homelessness families were beginning to decrease in 2019 and declined further during the pandemic, many advocates believe the count could increase dramatically once the current eviction moratorium fully ends. The citywide unemployment rate has tripled, with rates far higher in our most hard-hit neighborhoods.

So, how will the next mayor respond to this ongoing and potentially worsening crisis?

We sat down with six mayoral candidates for an estimated 30 minutes each, and asked them roughly the same questions. You can view each of their interviews separately below, as well as view how all the candidates answered specific questions, to easily compare them.

To help us delve deeply into these issues, we worked with the Family Homelessness Coalition fellows, who helped us develop important questions for this year’s mayoral candidates based on their knowledge and personal experiences of homelessness in New York City.

Remember that the primary is June 22, early voting begins Jun 12, and for the first time in a mayoral race, voters will be able to rank up to five candidates in order of preference.

We invited the eight major Democratic candidates, based on polling and fundraising, to participate. Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams, former federal and city housing chief Shaun Donovan, former sanitation commissioner Kathryn Garcia, former Citigroup executive Ray McGuire, nonprofit leader Dianne Morales and Comptroller Scott Stringer agreed to interviews. Maya Wiley and Andrew Yang did not.

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