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December 22, 2015

Audit Faults NYC Homelessness Office on Shelter Monitoring

A review by New York City's fiscal watchdog found that the city's Department of Homeless Services has too few employees to properly oversee nonprofit-run shelters that serve some 12,000 families, reports The New York Times. City Comptroller Scott M. Stringer's office said that with just 14 program analysts, the agency is unable to consistently inspect shelter apartments, at which auditors found found health and safety problems such mold, mice, and peeling paint.

Mayor Bill de Blasio's administration said it would add 15 program analysts in the next eight weeks. The audit's release follows the departure of Gilbert Taylor, who resigned last week as commissioner of homeless services amid persistent criticism of City Hall's approach. The mayor has outlined major initiatives in recent weeks aimed at reducing street homelessness and expanding supportive housing.

A partnership between the city and local religious charities to add 300 shelter beds is off to a slow start, reports The Wall Street Journal. The Opening Doors program announced by Mr. de Blasio in September, originally planned to be up and running within weeks, is now slated to start in January, a mayoral spokeswoman said.