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Study: Increased number of Astoria, Sunnyside families with children have entered homeless shelters

August 2017 report by the Citizens’ Commission for Children

Aug. 24, 2017 By Nathaly Pesantez

The number of families with children from Astoria and Sunnyside who have entered homeless shelters has gone up in recent years, according to a new report on homelessness in New York City.

The report by the Citizens’ Committee for Children of New York, takes a look at homelessness across the city and its correlation with income and rent data in the five boroughs.

According to the study, Astoria saw 90 families with children entering homeless shelters in 2015, an increase of 17 families from two years prior in 2013. In Sunnyside, the number of families who entered shelters hit 30, nearly doubling from 13 families in 2013.

The study also said that no other community district in the city has such a wide gap between declining incomes and rising rents like community board 1, which covers Astoria, does. The gap may partially explain the increase in homeless families with children from the area from 2013 to 2015, according to the report.

Although family homeless levels in Astoria are still low compared to other parts of the city, the study suggests that it may be becoming a more prevalent issue, which poses another problem—access to nearby homeless shelters and services. The study says residents from Western Queens would have to travel across the borough to Jamaica or to Far Rockaway to get to a Homebase, a Department of Homeless Services (DHS) program that helps prevent homelessness.

Other neighborhoods in western Queens, including Jackson Heights, Elmhurst, and Corona, saw increases in families entering homeless shelters, too, with Elmhurst and south Corona, part of community board 4, seeing 52 families with children entering sheltering in 2015 compared to 30 families in 2013.

As far as citywide rates, the number of families entering homeless shelters went up by 23 percent from 2012 to 2016, with the majority of families coming from the Bronx, Brooklyn, and parts of Manhattan. Two-thirds of the DHS shelter population are families with children, according to the report.

To access the full report, click here.


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Mary L

60 thousand people in the NYC homeless “system”? This number released by this administration makes New Yorkers sound heartless and not very charitable. This is the ?furthest thing from the truth. When I was a child my uncle lost his job and my parents moved him his wife and three children into our two bedroom apartment for almost a year until they got back on their feet. It was crowded but we managed. This is more common than this administration would have us believe. Most of that 60K is semantic and classification games played by the administration and homeless services agencies. People get on homeless
rolls to speed up gov’t housing benefits. Yes, much of the city has become unaffordable to many but you move to a place that is more affordable. That is exactly what the overwhelming majority of my friends and relatives did back in the 60’s and 70’s. We all came from Sunnyside and other neighborhoods in the city and didn’t demand the government find us subsidised housing. We wanted to live closer to our families too. Many didn’t want to leave the old neighborhoods either. Many of the people in the system like the people holding go back to China signs as they got off the buses at the old Pan American Hotel, sound if they have a high sense of entitlement. Government should be focusing more of it’s efforts on the elderly and disabled. Does anyone really believe tens of thousands of families would end up in the streets of NYC if we said no to more shelters? The law that says the city needs to provide shelters needs to be revisited and a complete review.


Airbnb saved me from being homeless many times. My heart goes out to these families. If you are at risk of being homeless stay with friends for a couple of nights or just sleep on your sofa and rent out your bedroom. Many people are looking to stay in Astoria.


I couldn’t afford my rental increase so I stayed in my apartment for a year until I found another place. There are a lot of options and the judges help you and understand how hard it is to find a new place. Tenants have rights! You can not just kicked a family to the streets because they can not afford to pay or because they feel taken advantage of. I love my new place now and the city pays some of my rent.


Bragging about being a deadbeat, nice. Did the nice judge tell the property owner how to pay his taxes, insurance, water and sewer bills? The city doesn’t pay some of your rent, I do.

Joe at Berkley

How many NYC homeless are from other places? Wasn’t the unfortunate family, who tragically lost two children in that horrible radiator explosion in a shelter apartment in the Bronx,from Portland Maine?


I do not care if you live in Astoria or on Park Ave. if you can not pay rent or home taxes you will end up without a home. For people to move into shelters (as an option) I would think they were either hit by unforeseen circumstances (such a job loss or health issues) or perhaps there place was sold and taken over by new owners. In the last scenario mentioned, they were probably never paying market value rent to begin with for them not to be able to find other private homes/apts. in NYC so they end up in a homeless shelter. There is also the people that know how to work the system and see this an option of allowing them to continue to live in NYC and collect services.


Well this is because there used to be a time when people and families had more affordable options in other nearby neighborhoods.. For example, if Astoria was too expensive then you would move to a cheaper neighborhood. Nowadays, Sunnyside, and Woodside are the new trend so rentals are skyrocketing there also. Which makes it difficult to live anywhere nice. Thus, certain families are moving into shelters and waiting in line for subsidized housing hoping more will be built in the area. Astoria is very economically diverse unlike lets say the new LIC. A lot of families and people are struggling. I see this daily. There is also the hidden homeless in Astoria that move in with friends and family because they do not want to live in a shelter. Developers are doing quite well though because they are able to provide what high paying tenants are looking for compared to small homeowners.


This study is a farce. just a way for Deblasio administration to force shelters on these neighborhoods in the name of making neighborhoods pull their fair share of “weight”. Since we will never know who these families are or were because of privacy laws the deceitful Deblasio administration can pretty much say anything they want.


Rent has gone up tremendously in the last few years. It’s really sad that Astoria families are being pushed out of neighborhood housing and into the shelter system.


“Pushed out”…? People are begging to leave and find more affordable options! De Blasio has my vote! Astoria needs more affordable housing or shelters. There is room on 20th Ave. Stop supporting local business and shop on line. They are to blame also.


How do you end greed? Very difficult . If a seller owns a home and someone says I will pay you one million, will you or will advise your child to say no…only pay me 700, 800, 000.? Yes…people in fact used to do that!!! They sure did, they offered sales to neighbors, were happy to make a bit of a profit. Now everyone is a mogul out for the killing. value increase of 20-30% in 2 years is a killing. This then drives the rents up and or destroys the community by subdividing houses…the Citizen committees proposal to lessen homeless by revokong codes for home conversions for basements. We will soon be like 3rd world slum …because that committee is essentially Manhattan Realtors and contractors!!! But what seller all take the $$$$ and run. All are culpable. Why didn’t they convert the south Bronx like Father gigantes model. because it’s development has been on the books for 30 years. And the real estate was bought up CHEAP by politicians and family members, big time developers.
And it is not just here..Same across the western world.


It’s a bit more complicated than that. You have the owners who now can sell their buildings for an immense profit (in some cases, it’s their children who have decided after their parents who had originally bought the buildings that they’re going to sell). The new owners are then have bought the property for an immense sum which places pressure on them to charge a much higher rent if they’re going to even break even. This then adds to the continued spikes in rents. This is all stimulated also artificially by relatively low interest loans by the banks, which is stimulated by the Fed Reserve (its been going on for years), because if the spending stops, the economy crashes. That’s when I hear people whining about “hipsters” driving up rents and “destroying” Astoria, I’m always surprised at how clueless they are about how the world works.


Yea mostly from the Astoria Houses and older buildings where they are not paying rent so they send them off to shelters until they get them a section 8 apt. This is the new way of getting into one of those places.


Oh that’s garbage. This is about people who live in normal apartments and get pushed out when the lose a job or something like that. Families. With kids. Have some compassion.


How do you know? Do you know all the families? Did they give us an economic breakdown of why they moved into a shelter? Where did the live before? How much rent were they paying? Did they lose their place to fire? So many older buildings are being sold to developers that want older tenants out. All I am saying is that the numbers are still very low and the city has in place so many options (even a free lawyer if u make under a certain amount and money) for people and families facing eviction or homelessness. My friends family home burned down and they lived in a near by hotel for 5 months (which insurance paid for) until there million dollar home was rebuilt…they would be considered homeless too.


So you are saying you personally know all the families? Maybe you should be offering up your couch to them.


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