Today’s news:

Wills pushes rent subsidies

City Councilman Ruben Wills says there is still time for Albany to free up existing funds for a rent-subsidy plan to help the homeless.
TimesLedger Newspapers

Advocates for the homeless said there is still time for Albany to approve a plan being pushed by Mayor Bill de Blasio and City Councilman Ruben Wills (D-Jamaica) that would free up existing state funds in order to create a housing-subsidy program for those who need it most.

“The argument that there’s not enough time doesn’t seem to make sense to us,” Stephanie Gendell, a policy supervisor at the Citizens’ Committee for Children advocacy group, testified Wednesday before the Council’s General Welfare Committee.

A day after Gov. Andrew Cuomo said it was too late in the budget process to introduce a new proposal, the committee voted to approve a non-binding resolution introduced by Wills that asks Albany to eliminate language from the budget preventing the city from using existing monies to replicate a rent-subsidy program that was eliminated three years ago.

“We know that we need to have a housing subsidy in the city’s tool kit,” Gendell said, “because we’ve seen what happens when we don’t have it in the tool kit.”

Not only did the city’s homeless shelter populations rise after Albany cut funding to the Bloomberg administration’s Advantage program in 2011, but the length of stay climbed, too.

The program, which provided up to two years’ worth of rent assistance, received about 24 percent of its funding from the city and another 19 percent in federal funds contingent on the state kicking in the remaining 57 percent.

The average stay in a shelter before Advantage was eliminated was 258 days compared to 429 days after.

Language introduced into the budget that year prevents the city from using remaining state funds to replicate the program, and de Blasio and his allies simply want this wording removed.

During an upstate news conference Tuesday, Cuomo, who worked with de Blasio at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, said he was concerned about the issue of homelessness, but introducing a new initiative in the budget would have to wait until next year.

“It’s late in the date to put something in the actual budget, because the budget train has basically left the station,” he said. “So to start a new proposal, it’s too late.”

Wills said there had been a “miscommunication” in the way the initiative was being discussed, stressing the city was asking for no additional money from Albany, simply that lawmakers would loosen the reins on existing funds.

“Taking this language out is common sense,” he said.

Advocates for the city’s homeless said the city’s shelter population broke 50,000 last year for the first time and fear that figure could climb to upward of 55,000 by next year if nothing is done.

“A large part of the reason for that is the lack of housing subsidies,” said Patrick Markee, a policy analyst at the Coalition for the Homeless. “Homeless kids and families in this city can’t wait another year.”

Reach reporter Rich Bockmann by e-mail at rbockmann@cnglocal.com or by phone at 718-260-4574.

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Joe Moretti from Jamaica says:
Mr. Wills:

Instead of working on this little pet project of yours that affects very little of the majority of people in the community of Jamaica, why not work on these five major quality of life issues that DO AFFECT THE COMMUNITY:

1. Major garbage problem from apartment buildings, homes and businesses that do not properly contain their garbage. One apartment/house near me does not even have a garbage can, they just drop their garbage in their front yard, see photo at http://cleanupjamaicaqueens.files.wordpress.com/2014/03/garbage-3-4-14-001.jpg. Besides being eyesores, this is a major health hazard, causing mice, rats and other rodents. WE NEED ENFORCEMENT OF LAWS.

2. Illegal garbage dumping, which takes place on sidewalks, vacant lots and abandoned homes. See photo at http://cleanupjamaicaqueens.files.wordpress.com/2014/03/garbage-3-2-14-0311.jpg. Again a major health hazard.

3. Abandoned vehicles placed on sidewalks and streets, many from the huge amount of Thug Auto Body Shops, that thankfully, "The Untouchables" have been laying down the law to such places and towing their vehicles, in no way thanks to you and your crew of useless leaders who never addressed this issue.

4. Unsecured vacant lots and abandoned homes. Not only do these places allow for garbage to be dumped into them because they are not secure, they are havens for all kinds of criminal activity since they are easily accessible.

5. Illegal Apartments, illegal curb cuts and illegal parking pads, which not only destroy the aesthetics of the community, but put a major burden on the community.

Tackle these major quality of life issue first, then take on your little pet project, which does not really effect the quality of life in Jamaica. Remember it was city council and the community board who allowed the homeless shelters to be put into our communities to begin with, so where were you as well as our other useless leaders when this was taking place.

http://cleanupjamaicaqueens.wordpress.com/
March 28, 9:11 am
Joe Moretti from Jamaica says:
Mr. Wills:

Instead of working on this little pet project of yours that affects very little of the majority of people in the community of Jamaica, why not work on these five major quality of life issues that DO AFFECT THE COMMUNITY:

1. Major garbage problem from apartment buildings, homes and businesses that do not properly contain their garbage. One apartment/house near me does not even have a garbage can, they just drop their garbage in their front yard, see photo at http://cleanupjamaicaqueens.files.wordpress.com/2014/03/garbage-3-4-14-001.jpg. Besides being eyesores, this is a major health hazard, causing mice, rats and other rodents. WE NEED ENFORCEMENT OF LAWS.

2. Illegal garbage dumping, which takes place on sidewalks, vacant lots and abandoned homes. See photo at http://cleanupjamaicaqueens.files.wordpress.com/2014/03/garbage-3-2-14-0311.jpg. Again a major health hazard.

3. Abandoned vehicles placed on sidewalks and streets, many from the huge amount of Thug Auto Body Shops, that thankfully, "The Untouchables" have been laying down the law to such places and towing their vehicles, in no way thanks to you and your crew of useless leaders who never addressed this issue.

4. Unsecured vacant lots and abandoned homes. Not only do these places allow for garbage to be dumped into them because they are not secure, they are havens for all kinds of criminal activity since they are easily accessible.

5. Illegal Apartments, illegal curb cuts and illegal parking pads, which not only destroy the aesthetics of the community, but put a major burden on the community.

Tackle these major quality of life issue first, then take on your little pet project, which does not really effect the quality of life in Jamaica. Remember it was city council and the community board who allowed the homeless shelters to be put into our communities to begin with, so where were you as well as our other useless leaders when this was taking place.

http://cleanupjamaicaqueens.wordpress.com/
March 28, 9:11 am
Joe Moretti from Jamaica says:
Mr. Wills:

Instead of working on this little pet project of yours that affects very little of the majority of people in the community of Jamaica, why not work on these five major quality of life issues that DO AFFECT THE COMMUNITY:

1. Major garbage problem from apartment buildings, homes and businesses that do not properly contain their garbage. One apartment/house near me does not even have a garbage can, they just drop their garbage in their front yard, see photo at http://cleanupjamaicaqueens.files.wordpress.com/2014/03/garbage-3-4-14-001.jpg. Besides being eyesores, this is a major health hazard, causing mice, rats and other rodents. WE NEED ENFORCEMENT OF LAWS.

2. Illegal garbage dumping, which takes place on sidewalks, vacant lots and abandoned homes. See photo at http://cleanupjamaicaqueens.files.wordpress.com/2014/03/garbage-3-2-14-0311.jpg. Again a major health hazard.

3. Abandoned vehicles placed on sidewalks and streets, many from the huge amount of Thug Auto Body Shops, that thankfully, "The Untouchables" have been laying down the law to such places and towing their vehicles, in no way thanks to you and your crew of useless leaders who never addressed this issue.

4. Unsecured vacant lots and abandoned homes. Not only do these places allow for garbage to be dumped into them because they are not secure, they are havens for all kinds of criminal activity since they are easily accessible.

5. Illegal Apartments, illegal curb cuts and illegal parking pads, which not only destroy the aesthetics of the community, but put a major burden on the community.

Tackle these major quality of life issue first, then take on your little pet project, which does not really effect the quality of life in Jamaica. Remember it was city council and the community board who allowed the homeless shelters to be put into our communities to begin with, so where were you as well as our other useless leaders when this was taking place.

http://cleanupjamaicaqueens.wordpress.com/
March 28, 9:11 am
Joe Moretti from Jamaica says:
Mr. Wills:

Instead of working on this little pet project of yours that affects very little of the majority of people in the community of Jamaica, why not work on these five major quality of life issues that DO AFFECT THE COMMUNITY:

1. Major garbage problem from apartment buildings, homes and businesses that do not properly contain their garbage. One apartment/house near me does not even have a garbage can, they just drop their garbage in their front yard, see photo at http://cleanupjamaicaqueens.files.wordpress.com/2014/03/garbage-3-4-14-001.jpg. Besides being eyesores, this is a major health hazard, causing mice, rats and other rodents. WE NEED ENFORCEMENT OF LAWS.

2. Illegal garbage dumping, which takes place on sidewalks, vacant lots and abandoned homes. See photo at http://cleanupjamaicaqueens.files.wordpress.com/2014/03/garbage-3-2-14-0311.jpg. Again a major health hazard.

3. Abandoned vehicles placed on sidewalks and streets, many from the huge amount of Thug Auto Body Shops, that thankfully, "The Untouchables" have been laying down the law to such places and towing their vehicles, in no way thanks to you and your crew of useless leaders who never addressed this issue.

4. Unsecured vacant lots and abandoned homes. Not only do these places allow for garbage to be dumped into them because they are not secure, they are havens for all kinds of criminal activity since they are easily accessible.

5. Illegal Apartments, illegal curb cuts and illegal parking pads, which not only destroy the aesthetics of the community, but put a major burden on the community.

Tackle these major quality of life issue first, then take on your little pet project, which does not really effect the quality of life in Jamaica. Remember it was city council and the community board who allowed the homeless shelters to be put into our communities to begin with, so where were you as well as our other useless leaders when this was taking place.

http://cleanupjamaicaqueens.wordpress.com/
March 28, 9:11 am

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