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November 18, 2015

NYC to Put $3 Billion Into New Effort for the Homeless

New York City aims to create 15,000 additional housing units paired with social services, at an estimated cost of about $3 billion, in an effort to combat persistent homelessness, The Wall Street Journal reports. The effort, announced Wednesday, marks the largest investment of Mayor Bill de Blasio's nearly two-year tenure, with half of the units to be constructed by nonprofits and developers over the next 18 months, backed by city subsidies and tax credits.

The city will convert another 7,500 existing apartments into the supportive housing, in which residents pay about 30 percent of their monthly income or rent and receive services such as substance-abuse counseling and health care along with a home. Advocates said supportive housing has proven the most effective way to move people out of long-term homelessness. The new program will double the number of supportive units New York, which has about 58,000 people in its shelter system.

Los Angeles has struggled to implement new measures to stem rising homelessness since city leaders declared a "state of emergency" two months ago and pledged $100 million in new spending to tackle the problem, the Journal also writes.