De Blasio is one of many liberal mayors from Democrat-controlled cities who believes he can quietly offload his homeless problems to unsuspecting cities across America.
When it comes to the public housing and homeless problems plaguing New York City, HUD regional administrator Lynne Patton is not messing around.
Patton, whose office oversees the New Jersey and New York region, spent a month in NYC public housing earlier this year to observe, document, and report on the deplorable conditions.
When it was over, she ripped Mayor Bill de Blasio (D) and the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA). Patton accused them of “blatant deception and fraud” and called the public housing situation there “nothing short of a humanitarian crisis.”
That same month, Patton put de Blasio on blast in a tweet. She chastised him for what she characterized in so many words as putting his presidential ambitions ahead of the needs of the city’s residents:
Since everyone keeps making this about politics instead of people, maybe the @NYCMayor should stay in his ACTUAL STATE & identify a new @NYCHA chair who will spend our $30M per week on ACTUAL REPAIRS than wasteful UNION OT the mayor won’t abrogate due to his own political goals! pic.twitter.com/N2HMaWKwGu
— Archive: Lynne Patton (HUD) (@LynnePattonHUD) March 18, 2019
The two don’t get along and considering what she said during an interview on Fox News Thursday about him, it’s safe to say their working relationship just got a whole lot chillier.
Patton made an appearance on the cable news network to discuss reports that Mayor de Blasio was trying to “solve” the city’s homeless problem by shipping them off to other states:
Newark, New Jersey’s largest city, filed a federal lawsuit against New York City and de Blasio on Monday claiming recipients of the subsidized rentals are ending up living in poor conditions, according to the New York Post.
“I know both of these mayors, just last week I worked with the mayor of Newark to help house 55 families during Thanksgiving,” Patton continued. “I’m quite frankly surprised more mayors aren’t suing de Blasio. Because this program’s ridiculous. It literally helps people one time,” she explained.
Patton argued that providing people with a free apartment for a year will not encourage them to find work and will only perpetuate a cycle of false hope, that will end up crushing their spirits.
“It invites slum lords to let the apartments grow into distress. They’ve got the money upfront. Why maintain the upkeep of the apartment? Plus it doesn’t give the homeless recipient the incentive to better themselves, to be self-sufficient,” she said. “‘I’m set for a year, what do I have to work for?’ And then when the year expires and the homeless person can’t pay for the rent going forward — or at least 50 percent of it, they’re back out on the street and what have you really accomplished?”
Watch the full interview with Patton below:
Patton’s exactly right. According to an October report from the New York Post, NYC has “exported” their homeless residents to 373 cities around the country via de Blasio’s Special One-Time Assistance Program (SOTA), usually without informing the cities that they’re coming. After living in their “free” apartment for a year, many of them either end up back out on the streets or back in NYC living in rundown public housing:
City taxpayers have spent $89 million on rent alone since the program’s August 2017 inception to export 5,074 homeless families — 12,482 individuals — to places as close as Newark and as far as the South Pacific, according to Department of Homeless Services data obtained by The Post. Families who once lived in city shelters decamped to 32 states and Puerto Rico.
The city also paid travel expenses, through a separate taxpayer-funded program called Project Reconnect, but would not divulge how much it spent. A Friday flight to Honolulu for four people would cost about $1,400. A bus ticket to Salt Lake City, Utah, for the same family would cost $800.
Not only are officials in towns where the city’s homeless land up in arms, but hundreds of the homeless families are returning to the five boroughs — and some are even suing NYC over being abandoned in barely livable conditions. Multiple outside agencies and organizations have opened investigations into SOTA.
“We were initially seeing a lot of complaints about conditions. Now that the program has been in operation long enough that the SOTA subsidy is expiring, one of our main concerns is it might not be realistic for people to be entirely self-sufficient after that first year,” said Jacquelyn Simone, policy analyst at Coalition for the Homeless.
Fayetteville, NC, is one of the cities that have been the unknowing recipients of de Blasio’s homeless residents. Fayetteville Mayor Mitch Colvin is demanding answers:
“I really didn’t have a vast understanding but I understand the concept. That they were taking their problems related to the homeless that they’re struggling with and moving them to other communities and I think that’s completely unfair,” said Colvin.
For Fayetteville, the problem then becomes affordable housing, the availability of it and whether the resources available there are enough to take on a growing homeless population. Even with the Tiny Home project and Homeless Day Center, Mayor Colvin worries that the long term impact of busing people there could put a strain on resources.
“We’re struggling now to keep up with our own homeless population and putting the amenities and resources in place to deal with that and we certainly can’t take anyone else’s issues,” said Colvin.
New York City isn’t the only Democrat-run city that has programs in place to offload its homeless residents into other states. Portland, Oregon, and San Francisco are just two of the many towns who have paid those living on city streets to move out of state. San Francisco’s “Homeward Bound” program started under the leadership of then-Mayor Gavin Newsom, who is now California’s governor amid a statewide homeless crisis that he has tried to blame on, you guessed it, President Trump.
Newsom’s “not my fault” mentality is shared by de Blasio, who when faced with criticism from Patton or the New York media, defaults to blaming Trump for a supposed lack of federal funding. Patton herself has pushed back on that, pointing out that money alone will not solve the problems the city faces, especially when the people demanding the money are the very people who have squandered and misused it.
Mayor de Blasio dumping homeless people onto other states and trying to pin the city’s homeless crisis on Republicans is absurd and shows he’d rather conveniently pass the buck than take responsibility for his leadership failures. Shame on him.
— Stacey Matthews has also written under the pseudonym “Sister Toldjah” and can be reached via Twitter. —DONATE
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