Ever-Richer New York Has More Homeless Than Ever

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Photo: Getty Images/AFP


New York’s financial data is all sunshine and rainbows these days. A $3.9 billion surplus has the City Council talking tax cuts, job growth is chugging along (62,300 new ones added in 2006), unemployment is at a slim 4.9 percent. No need to tell you where the housing market is. Great news for everyone! Except for one little thing: According the Coalition for the Homeless’s annual report, released yesterday, the number of homeless New Yorkers increased by 11 percent in 2006, to 35,113. That means, the Coalition says, more New York families are homeless than at any point since the city started keeping records.

Take a second to process this bit of info. City shelters began their record-keeping in 1979. This means there are more homeless people today than just a few years after the financial crisis. (“Ford to City” was in 1975.) This means there are more homeless people now than during the crack-ridden, stock-screwed Dinkins era. This might even mean that when the average price of a Manhattan home hovers over $1 million, maybe some people have a harder time affording homes. Who knew?

State of the Homeless 2007 [Coalition for the Homeless]
NYC Job Growth Displayed Resiliency in 2006 [Crain’s]