A scandalous program is now coming to light, as it’s been revealed that New York City has shipped over 12,000 homeless people to other areas of the country. The program to reduce the burden of homeless people on the city spent $89 million to relocate those people, or over $7,000 per person. While some of those people ended up relocating within New York City, most ended up in other states around the country.
One can’t help but think that other states are less than pleased with New York’s program. While the city was supposed to pay for relocation assistance, that assistance was a one-shot deal. Once those homeless people reach other cities and states, they become the responsibility of their new hometown. And if that means having to go on public assistance because they can’t make it on their own, then taxpayers in those states are on the hook.
Shipping the homeless to other states is certainly a novel approach, and New York undoubtedly has the money to make that happen. But it’s a beggar-thy-neighbor attitude that won’t endear New York to other states.
There’s a reason that there are so many homeless people in New York, and in large part it’s due to the city’s policies. High taxes drive up the cost of living while rent control drives up the cost of housing as availability of housing plummets. But the city won’t take responsibility for its own role in creating the homelessness situation, it instead wants to shift the burden onto others.
As long as the city engages in this type of action, there won’t be any progress made on combating homelessness. Temporary band-aids won’t overcome problems that are too deep-seated and the result of institutional failures. But hopefully the fact that the city is shipping its homeless elsewhere will inspire others to make actual efforts to combat the problems of homelessness and the underlying causes that lead to it.