Every year more New Yorkers find it almost impossible to live in the city. As affordable housing has become more difficult to find, it’s affecting lower income classes to be homeless.
In the last 20 years the number of homeless persons has quadrupled from 15,000 homeless people in NYC to 60,717 in 2017. These statistics only document homeless people living in shelters, which doesn’t include the homeless people living on the streets or subway stations. New York has reached its highest homeless population since the Great Depression in 1930.
In the last ten years the cost of housing has doubled in all areas of New York City, which has impacted poorer communities.The Coalition for the Homeless has conducted a study that over 22,000 families are homeless, which is more than the amount of single adults who are homeless in NYC.
The question is what is causing so many New Yorkers to become homeless in this century?
To take an example from the app Trulia, rent for a simple 1 to 2 bedroom apartment anges from $2,000 to $6,000 in Brooklyn; while a 1 to 2 bedroom apartment in Furnace, Pennsylvania ranges from $500 to $2,000.
New York City is one of the biggest cities in the world with a population of over 8 million people. It is understandable why it’s so expensive to live in. But In this political climate rates of affordable housing in not only New York City but in other places all over the U.S will soon increase.
“I’m here everyday the same routine, I come here and play for everyone who want to listen to me play.” said a homeless man who plays the guitar at the Lexington Ave/53rd Street subway station. He said he comes to that station almost everyday to play music to make every penny he can to get food that day.
He also said that with his old age and not being able to hold a job that he isn’t in a financial state to own any type of housing.
“Dollars here and there help me to get something to eat but not enough to put a roof over my head…and shelters nowadays are way too crowded so this is all I can do” he said.
Many homeless New Yorkers are in the same situation as this man. Lack of affordable housing in New York has put more people into shelters; making homeless shelters population increase by 76 percent in the last ten years.
Poorer neighborhoods in NYC have higher rates of homelessness because rent is increasing each year. The lower class neighborhoods consist of mainly African American and Latino/Hispanic people, so they’re affected by homelessness the most.
If the number of people becoming homeless in New York keeps increasing, the possibility of a decrease is very unlikely in the near future.