De Blasio Says Failure to Create Report Cards for City Homeless Shelters is Unacceptable
Responding to a NY1 report, Mayor Bill de Blasio said it is unacceptable his administration failed to create report cards for city homeless shelters, as promised last year. NY1's Grace Rauh filed the following report.
It was an embarrassing moment for Mayor Bill de Blasio as he makes fighting homelessness a top priority.
"In 2016, the people who are part of my administration will feel the lash because if we make a commitment, we are keeping it. Anyone who doesn't keep it is going to have a problem with me," de Blasio said.
After promising to grade the conditions in city shelters last May, the report cards are still not up. NY1 exclusively reported the lapse on Thursday.
"Those scorecards will happen. They will happen by next month," de Blasio said. "If they don't happen, a lot of people will be in trouble."
The tough talk caps off a busy week in which the administration announced three homeless initiatives and the mayor hired a new deputy mayor who will oversee the city's homeless response.
On Thursday night, de Blasio visited the Bellevue men's shelter. On Friday, he spoke at Covenant House, a shelter for homeless and runaway youth. He says the city will add 300 beds for homeless who are 16 to 21 years old.
Governor Andrew Cuomo is expected to address the city's near-record level of homelessness in his State of the State speech on Wednesday. The mayor may be trying to convey to New Yorkers that he can handle the problem before the address.
"We are going to take the homelessness crisis on, head on. Every day," de Blasio said.
He does, however, say he would like more money from Albany.
"We need help from the state of New York. There's no two ways about it," de Blasio said.
There are 58,000 people in city shelters and an estimated 3- to 4,000 living on the street. The mayor, and his allies, have taken pains to emphasize that this is not a problem the mayor created.
"This is really a scandal, if you think about it," de Blasio said. "How did this happen for decades? All of it."
At one point last year, the mayor downplayed that extent of the problem. But now, he is owning it, aggressively.