Councilman Rafael Salamanca’s Housing Crisis Bills Pass

I’ve seen firsthand what we can be doing better as a city for our shelter population.
-A +A

Photo: YouTube

New York, NY (March 17, 2023) – On Thursday, the City Council passed the Housing Specialists and DHS Customer Service Training bills, introduced by Councilmember Rafael Salamanca Jr. The bills create the position of housing specialist in each of the city’s shelters, vastly improving the efficiency and care in our shelter system. They come as part of Councilmember Salamanca’s larger focus on the housing crisis.

The first piece of legislation, Intro 124, requires the Human Resources Administration (HRA) and the Department of Homeless Services (DHS) to create the position of housing specialists in all shelters and to submit annual reports on caseload and performance. Intro 431 institutes customer service training for all DHS shelter personnel working directly with residents.

Shelter caseload has grown over the last ten years, made worse by the precarity of the pandemic. The consequences are especially damaging for children: lengthy periods of homelessness cause chronic absenteeism from school, worsening their odds to graduate high school. Customer service training will provide tools to promote cultural inclusion; aid clients with disability, trauma, or mental illness and facilitate conflict de-escalation. Preparing for the future, annual reports will provide data to fine-tune the system through additional policy changes.

This legislation will begin improving our system right away. With high quality training and closer access to residents, housing specialists will be better equipped to address clients’ full scope of needs. Ultimately, people will be placed in quality permanent housing more quickly, lessening the burden on shelters city-wide.

“This is a commonsense step to support and treat with dignity our neighbors most in need,” said Councilmember Salamanca. “As a member who represents the largest portfolio of shelters in NYC, I’ve seen firsthand what we can be doing better as a city for our shelter population. This is an opportunity to end the loop of backlogs caused by inaccessible housing specialists, overburdened shelter staff, all made worse by the lack of affordable housing for low-income residents. By addressing the full scope of needs when matching people with eligible housing programs, we’ll ensure a higher success rate and decrease the likelihood of these individuals’ reintroduction into the shelter system.”

Also Check Out...

Sharpton To Deliver Eulogy For Irvo Otieno
Sharpton To Deliver Eulogy For
four officers involved in the arrest that left Randy Cox paralyzed.
Randy Cox Case: Crump Responds To
Six additional members and affiliates of the Oath Keepers were found guilty in the District of Columbi
6 Oath Keepers Found Guilty On
Chicago mayoral election\Brandon Johnson\Paul Vallas
Chicago Mayoral Election: Vallas,
Peace Corps and Bennett College will co-host a day-long hybrid thought leader forum focused on gender equity
Bennett College, Peace Corps,
The UK Black Business Entrepreneurs Conference (BBEC23) - brings together top retailers for Meet the Buyer Pitch for Success
UK Black Business Conference