NYC Housing Advocates Respond to Protests, Call on the City to Address Family Homelessness Crisis in Fight For Racial Justice


June 2, 2020

NEW YORK — In response to the protests erupting in New York City this week, the Family Homelessness Coalition released the following statement:

“The uprisings happening across New York City are rooted in historic injustices toward black communities and deep inequality that exists in every part of our city. It’s why COVID-19 is twice as deadly for black New Yorkers; why families with black heads of household live in poverty almost twice as much as their white counterparts; and why nearly 94% of all families in DHS shelters are made up of women and children of color.

“Making real change happen will require a multi-pronged approach from our City’s leaders. One key part of that plan must be to combat New York’s family homelessness crisis by supporting parents and children in the same communities that have been hit hardest by the coronavirus and endured countless instances of black lives being devalued at the hands of police.

“To address both the immediate needs of at-risk families facing eviction amid the pandemic and the long-term fight for racial justice, New York City must make a clear investment in rental subsidies, prevention services and rapid rehousing options as our city rebuilds. Expanding access to long-term housing solutions, education, and career training is critical to stemming the tides of homelessness before they start for New Yorkers living in poverty and righting historic wrongs in communities of color. While creating housing stability for more New Yorkers and reducing the number of families raising children in shelters won’t solve every issue stemming from long standing inequities, it is an inextricable and urgently needed piece on the path towards justice.”

The Citizens’ Committee for Children, a leading organization of the Family Homelessness Coalition, released a report last week showing that the neighborhoods hit hardest by COVID-19 are likely to see a surge in family homelessness after the eviction moratorium lifts in August. These communities — East Tremont in the Bronx, East New York and Borough Park in Brooklyn, and Elmhurst/Corona and Jackson Heights in Queens — are predominantly home to people of color.

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