Homelessness in 2017 has reached the highest levels since the Great Depression.

Critical Facts:

130,000 New Yorkers
Last year, nearly 130,000 New Yorkers slept in the municipal shelter system. Tonight, more than 60,000 New Yorkers will sleep in a shelter.

45,000 children
Last year, over 45,000 children in our city did not have a home. Tonight, 23,000 children will sleep in a shelter.

75 percent
Over the last ten years, the number of New Yorkers sleeping in shelters each night has increased by 75 percent.

4,000 New Yorkers
An estimated 4,000 New Yorkers are living unsheltered on the street. These New Yorkers are some of the most vulnerable members of the community – many suffer from debilitating medical and mental health conditions, and they are often difficult to reach.

430 days
The average length of stay in a shelter is over 430 days for families.

Driving Forces:

Low vacancy rate
The city’s overall rental housing vacancy rate is at 3.7 percent. The rental vacancy rate (percentage of all available units) for affordable apartments is just 1.8 percent. In comparison, the national average rental vacancy rate is 7.5 percent.

Severe rent burden
Poor households are often severely rent burdened, with more than 50 percent of households paying more than 30 percent of their total income on rent.

Lack of funding
Public housing is not funded appropriately and units are often in poor condition.

Eviction is a leading cause of homelessness in New York City; nearly 22,000 families were evicted in 2015.

Supply/demand mismatch
There are 980,000 low-income households in New York City, but only 425,000 available low-income housing units. There are more than two low-income households for every one affordable housing unit.

Our Housing Strategy:

When Robin Hood identifies a crisis, we take action.

housing_blog_graphicThe programs we support provide low-income New Yorkers with a range of services, including legal counsel in eviction proceedings, referrals to job training programs, and health care. For those in city shelters, Robin Hood helps working families move into homes of their own. And we connect the most vulnerable — veterans and the mentally ill — to supportive housing, which features onsite services like social workers, workshops on personal and professional development, and healthy recreational activities. Here are a few of our partners:

Because homelessness is rarely an isolated condition of poverty, we also attack the root causes of homelessness across all our portfolios — providing and connecting New Yorkers to job training, education, counseling services, healthcare, legal assistance, and more.

Case Study: New York City Acquisition Fund

Providing bridge loans to non-profit housing developers

There are billions of dollars in government funding available for developers who want to build affordable housing — but before they can access this money, they need land on which to build. New York City’s intensely competitive real estate market makes acquiring land nearly impossible.

That’s where the New York City Acquisition Fund (NYCAF) comes in. More than a decade ago, Robin Hood joined a handful of foundations, commercial lending institutions, and the City of New York to launch the Fund, which offers flexible bridge loans for developers to buy land. Developers can then unlock government funds dedicated to the construction of both affordable housing as well as supportive housing.

Since its founding, NYCAF has built or preserved 11,226 affordable and supportive units, but its impact cannot be measured by square footage alone. Thanks to the Fund, 23,000 New Yorkers have a home they can count on, which means they are in a much better position to move out of poverty for good.

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