The homeless population in New York City increased by nearly 40 percent in 2017, according to a new survey.
The most recent annual survey from the city’s Department of Homeless Services noted that the city had 3,892 homeless people as of February 2017, a 39 percent spike in homelessness from February 2016, when the homeless population consisted of 2,794 people, NBC New York reported.
The report chalked off the rising numbers of homeless people on the streets to milder temperatures and incomes that cannot keep up with high rents in the city. It noted that the median rent in New York City increased 18 percent since the last survey.
The last time the city saw a significant increase in homelessness was in 2005 when Michael Bloomberg was mayor.
The spike comes despite Mayor Bill de Blasio’s efforts to make sure homeless people are in shelters instead of on the streets.
City officials told the New York Daily News that it takes on average five months to convince a homeless person to move off the street to a shelter.
De Blasio claimed that he would reduce the number of homeless sleeping on the streets in New York City by allocating $2 billion for 360 “safe haven beds” that would allow the homeless to “drop-in” — expected to be completed before the end of 2017.
City Hall also aims to open the first 500 units of its 15,000 planned supportive housing units targeting those with mental health or substance abuse problems by the end of this year.