Left-wing Mayor Bill de Blasio’s New York City has a serious homelessness problem, with a new government report showing that homelessness has jumped by 4.1 percent in 2017.
According to the Wall Street Journal, the report by the Department for Housing and Urban Development shows that the number of people living on the street in the Big Apple rose from 2,838 in 2016 to 3,939 in 2017.
That marks a 38.7 percent increase under a de Blasio administration claiming to have made tackling homelessness one of its top priorities. The number of people living in shelters rose to 72,565 in 2017 from 70,685 in 2016 — a more modest 2.7 percent increase.
De Blasio’s office said affordable housing was a problem hitting New York City as well as the rest of the country.
“These numbers are consistent with what we’ve been combating and what we’ve forecasted as a big part of an affordability crisis that has spared no corner of the country,“ a spokeswoman for New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio told the Journal. “That’s why the mayor put forward an aggressive affordable-housing plan and a realistic shelter plan.”
The numbers are likely to be seen as a major blow to de Blasio’s promise to tackle the problem. The Journal reports that the budget for the Department of Homeless Services has almost doubled since de Blasio has been in office. It now stands at $888 million per annum.
The report also found homelessness was plaguing the West Coast. It found that California had the most homeless people — 134,000 people, which marked a 13.7 percent rise from 2016.
HUD Secretary Ben Carson attributed the problem to rents rising faster than incomes in big cities, “forcing too many of our neighbors into our shelters and onto our streets.”
“This is not a federal problem — it’s everybody’s problem,” Carson said, according to the Journal.
Adam Shaw is a Breitbart News politics reporter based in New York. Follow Adam on Twitter: @AdamShawNY.