The financial crisis sparked by the coronavirus pandemic has created housing problems for many people in the city.
“What we’re seeing at the moment is only the tip of the iceberg,” Áine Duggan, president and CEO of The Partnership for the Homeless, said in an interview with NY1's Roma Torre.
Duggan noted that individuals seen sleeping on the street represent only about 8 percent of the total homeless population; many are families with young children currently in the shelter system.
The Partnership focuses on preventing homelessness through rental assistance and mediation with landlords.
Duggan said Black and Latino communities that have been hurt the most by the pandemic are also most impacted by the impending eviction crisis.
“COVID has just pulled back the curtain on something that we’ve all known has been there," she said. "Racial inequity is really at the foundation of housing inequity not just in the city but in the country as a whole.”
With around a million people in the city behind on their rent, Governor Cuomo last week extended the eviction moratorium to September 4. On Wednesday, the state Chief Administrative Judge pushed it to October first.
Duggan, though, said these orders are, “kicking the can down the road. However, [this] can keep people safe in their housing if we know that there is rental assistance coming at the end of it.”
She referenced calls for $100 billion to be included in the next stimulus package for rental assistance – saying it needs to be passed if there is any hope of addressing the crisis.