With New York City’s homeless population continuing to grow, Mayor Bill de Blasio recently launched a controversial program to send individuals and families without homes to other cities across the nation.
So far, 43 households have been relocated to North Carolina, including 6 to Charlotte, 5 to Raleigh, and 6 to Fayetteville, without any consent or knowledge of the receiving city, according to a report by the New York Post.
The program pays for 12 months of rent for individuals and families sent outside of New York, but if they are not able to find suitable income in that time, they will likely end up back on the streets, only in a different city.
WTVD interviewed Fayetteville’s mayor about the individuals NYC was sending to his city and he said the long term impact of busing people there could put a strain on local resources.
“We’re struggling now to keep up with our own homeless population and putting the amenities and resources in place to deal with that and we certainly can’t take anyone else’s issues,” said Fayetteville’s Mayor Mitch Colvin, adding that, “I think it’s a big ask to ask these tax payers to use their tax dollars to take care of other people’s homeless population.”
According to NYC’s website, the following homeless are eligible for the Special One-Time Assistance (SOTA) program:
- Families with children: The household must have been in shelter for at least 90 days.
- Single adults and adult families: The household must have been in shelter for 90 days out of the last 365 days.
- The household must be working and/or have enough income to make future rent payments based on their rent not exceeding 50% of household income. Income includes employment or SSI, SSD, etc.
This map shows where all of the SOTA recipients have been sent to so far:
Mayor Colvin said the city’s attorneys are investigating remedies they might have and if the busing continues they might pursue legal action against New York City.
What do you think about the program?
Do you think Charlotte leaders should do anything about the program?