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Gov. Andrew Cuomo, Mayor Bill De Blasio Trade Jabs on Homeless Problem

A progressive catfight has erupted between New York Governor Andrew Cuomo and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio as they argue over who is more sympathetic to the homeless.

On Tuesday, Cuomo accused de Blasio of badly managing the homeless problem in New York’s intensively regulated housing market. “Throwing money at the problem is not always the answer. It’s understanding the problem and being smart enough to know how to manage the problem,” he said.

Wednesday, de Blasio fired back during an appearance on Fox 5’s Good Day New York, snapping, “It’s time for the governor to step up.”

He claimed that a $2.6 billion city plan has been implemented to create 15,000 new units of housing, but it will take 15 years to complete the project. Still, de Blasio boasted, “The city of New York just did something extraordinary. We need to hear from the state of New York. Yes, money matters.”

Cuomo’s office responded that the state pays $825 million a year for housing, homeless services, and rental subsidies for the City. “Yes, it’s clear that the Mayor can’t manage the homeless crisis and the State does intend to step in ‎with both management expertise and resources in a plan to be released in the State of the State,” said Cuomo spokeswoman Dani Lever.

Then de Blasio asserted that when the Advantage rental-subsidy program was ended in 2011, it paved the way for the current housing problem. “When [Cuomo] does something that doesn’t help New York City, I’m going to say it,” de Blasio declared. “There’s plenty of challenges in Albany. … Silence about that doesn’t get us anywhere.”

Cuomo, meanwhile, said, “You’re talking to the wrong guy if you think I’m going to be able to decipher the mayor’s politics.”

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