New York Post Even de Blasio is projecting a homeless increase next year by Michael Gartland
New Yorkers who say they’re seeing a lot more homeless on the streets better brace for next year — when even the de Blasio administration is projecting an increase.
The numbers are contained in small type in the mayor’s Management Report, which predicts that 3,350 individuals will be sleeping “on the streets, in parks, under highways, on subways, and in the public transportation stations in New York City.”
There were 3,182 this fiscal year, according to the annual street count taken each winter.
City Councilman Ben Kallos (D-Manhattan) slammedMayor de Blasio on Monday for setting the higher number as a target.
“There are serious problems with a mayor’s Management Report that is setting goals that go against the direction we want our city to go,” he said.
“The report should have goals that would improve the city, and we’re seeing that half the time there are no goals.”
Kallos, who oversaw a hearing on the Management Report Monday, is demanding that they be overhauled.
“We’re disappointed by their failure to engage it [address the broader issue] over the past two years,” he said.
But a de Blasio spokeswoman fired back that Kallos just doesn’t understand the report.
“This represents a fundamental misinterpretation of how the mayor’s Management Report defines targets — which are not goals, but expected performance levels based on multiple factors,” spokeswoman Natalie Grybauskas said.
“To suggest this administration is setting easy goals or low standards is, quite frankly, ludicrous.”
The projection on street homelessness “represents the expected number, not an aspirational figure,” according to a city official.
Others at the hearing criticized the 332-page Management Report, a report card on city agencies, for a lack of transparency.
Doug Muzzio, a Baruch College political science professor, called for a fuller description of how the numbers are reported.
“Government agencies are really loath to have people poke around,” he said. “If they put the methodologies online, we could be here for four hours and criticize them for using inappropriate methodologies.”
Meanwhile, Police Commissioner Bill Bratton said that people living on the streets have become more visible in recent months and that he has “fewer tools to work with” now compared to when he led the NYPD in the 1990s.
“You’re starting to see them in airports, other places that you would not normally expect to see them,” he said on John Gambling’s radio show.
“The problem itself is, we’re still trying to get our arms around just what is the actual size of it. I think because of those limited tools to deal with it, when normally in the past we could get rid of it, we’re not able to get rid of it as quickly or as effectively.”