Once again I feel have to explain that this is not, despite all appearances to the contrary, a joke. According to the Daily News, Bloomberg wants to charge rent to any homeless who sleep in city-run shelters. What a good idea! It's time these layabouts had to face reality, the Deputy Mayor explains.
Nothing's free in New York - not even a stint in a city shelter.
Homeless people with jobs are going to have to start paying the city rent to stay in shelters, officials said Tuesday.
"Open-ended handouts, we know, don't work," Deputy Mayor Linda Gibbs said. "This is not a moneymaker. We're not doing this to close budget gaps. It's really the principles ... involved."
I'm not sure how she can be so sure that "open-ended handouts don't work" since they've, you know, never been tried, but nevertheless the conservative Bloomberg Admin has decided they don't and charging people money who don't have any will be a much more successful strategy for getting these
lazy good-for-nothing bums poor folks out of the shelters. Which it probably will be.
This guy sleeps just outside an NYC shelter. Will he have to pay less?
The beauty of this is that by reducing the number of residents, you can then pretend that if they're not in a shelter they're not homeless, and before you know Mayor Mike will be claiming that his "tough love" policies have resulted in fewer homeless people in NYC. It's one of the time-honored ways conservatives have justified cutting programs for the poor: force them off the rolls and then claim they don't exist. It worked for welfare "reform", after all.
Of course, to be fair to Mayor Mike, he's simply decided suddenly to obey a 13-yr-old law passed by Joe Bruno's then very conservative Assembly during Gov Elmer's (R-Wingnut) first term when conservatives were at the (brief) height of their power in NY, a law which every other NYC mayor simply ignored because it was, you know, a batshit insane conservative fantasy. Why has he decided to favor the fantasy with the pretense that it isn't stoopid and cruel? Well, Ms Gibbs' disclaimer notwithstanding, it seems it may well have something to do with "closing budget gaps" after all.
A 1997 state law requires New York to charge rent to the homeless who can afford it. The city never did, but has been pressed to do it since a state audit last year.
Shelter residents would have to pay as much as 44% of their income in their first year in the program.
And 88% the second year and 132% thereafter, I suppose. Well, why not? Counting on non-existent money is like fantasizing that Monopoly money is real. And, as Salon's Mike Madden notes, Friendly Mayor Mike is just the guy to relate to the homeless. He understands their problems and he wouldn't be doing this if it wasn't for their own good.
It's been a while since New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg had to worry about paying the rent. After all, he's got an official residence that the city provides him, though he's never lived there at any point during his nine three terms in office. That's because he's the 23rd richest person in the world, worth an estimated $18 billion, which is the kind of money that can leave you with a certain rarified real estate taste. For Bloomberg, this means that home isn't just where the heart is - it's also where 12,500 square feet in a five-story beaux-arts limestone townhouse on the Upper East Side is.
(singing:) Uh-huh, uh-huh, I like it!
But hey, it's the law, buddy.
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