Categories: New York City
In this historic moment when #BlackLivesMatter protests in NYC and across the country are highlighting existing racial disparities that COVID-19 is only exacerbating, we cannot place the burden of our $9 billion budget deficit on our Black communities. The city is outrageously proposing 40 percent cuts to the affordable housing capital budget and potentially major cuts to social service budgets. Meanwhile, it has taken public outcry and advocacy for the City to even consider restructuring the NYPD budget.
Police are currently tasked with responding to crises which they are not trained to handle, including mental health crises and homeless outreach. And we have seen the unfortunate and often fatal outcomes of these responses. Our communities, specifically Black communities, do not need more police- they need housing, healthcare, and social services.
The city budget is a moral document which will shape our city for years to come. As the nonprofit and human service sector braces for potentially historic budget cuts, we must ensure investments in essential services and prioritize funding for housing and social service agencies, not the NYPD in the FY21 budget.
The $1 billion cut to the NYPD’s budget should be reinvested in housing and social services, and the $9 billion shortfall should not include cuts to essential programs. The Network and its partners demand the following:
RESTORE THE PROPOSED 40% CUT TO HPD’S CAPITAL BUDGET IN FY20 AND FY21. These cuts endanger 20,000 units of affordable housing, including nearly 3,000 new units in the supportive housing in the next two years. There is disproportionate number of Black people within the homeless system and without funds to develop housing, they will remain in shelter. These cuts would also result in 22,000 fewer construction jobs and 25 permanent jobs at each completed supportive housing development.
FULLY FUND THE BUDGETS FOR HRA, DOHMH, AND HASA. In addition to creating housing for the homeless population, these city agencies support employment for more than 120,000 nonprofit human service workers. In the supportive housing field alone, 60% of the workforce are womxn of color. Cuts to supportive housing contracts will have a direct adverse impact on Black and Brown communities.
FULLY FUND THE BUDGETS FOR DHS AND HRA. At any given time, there are over 78,000 people experiencing homelessness in NYC and this population is predominately Black. Sixty nine percent of people experiencing homelessness in NYC are Black, while only 24.3 percent of NYC’s resident population are Black. Reducing funding will mean people experiencing homelessness will continue to languish in shelter. Recognizing the disproportionate number of Black people within the homeless system, it is essential that supportive and deeply affordable housing is available to help achieve equitable outcomes.
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