Homelessness Increasing Under de Blasio Leadership

Bill de Blasio
Bill de Blasio / Getty Images

A Tuesday report showing New York City's homeless problem has gotten worse in recent years is yet another item in a string of negative news for Mayor Bill de Blasio, who still has not decided if he will join the already crowded field of Democrats hoping to win the party's nomination for president.

An earlier report from de Blasio's office in 2017 estimated the homeless population in city shelters would decrease by about 2,500 people by the year 2022.

But new findings by the city's Coalition for the Homeless is estimating "that the shelter census is on track to increase by 5,000 people by 2022 unless the mayor immediately changes course and increases the number of apartments set aside for homeless New Yorkers through his Housing New York 2.0 plan," [emphasis original].

Tuesday's report continued a weeks-long streak of tough media for the Mayor.

On Monday, the New York Daily News broke a story alleging that city cops worked to cover up a car accident from 2015 in which de Blasio was a passenger.

"The crash was covered up in part because of de Blasio's Vision Zero initiative, which seeks to reduce pedestrian and traffic deaths through stricter enforcement," the Daily News reported, citing multiple anonymous sources.

Just before the Easter holiday, the city's Department of Investigation concluded that the mayor violated ethics rules by soliciting campaign contributions from people who had matters pending before the city, such as tax breaks or deed transfers.

Days later, de Blasio was stung again, this time by an editorial from the New York Times alleging that his dalliance with his presidential ambitions was causing him to lose control of his governance of the city, especially where key departmental vacancies were concerned.

"The mayor, who has two and a half years left in his second term, has recently focused his attentions elsewhere," the paper intoned. "Yet, especially if he'll be on the campaign trail, filling these positions is the least Mr. de Blasio can do to make sure the city that elected him gets the services it deserves."

In mid-March, a de Blasio appearance in New Hampshire only managed to draw about 20 people.

About two weeks after the New Hampshire episode, the mayor faced another embarrassing article from the Times that noted the only mayor generating presidential buzz in the city was Pete Buttigieg, mayor of South Bend Indiana.

"Both men are considering a presidential run but only one of their potential candidacies seems to be taken seriously," the report said.