Domestic violence drives homelessness among NYC families: report

Domestic violence has become a leading driver of homelessness among New York City families, a new analysis found.

A troubling 41% of families entering the city’s homeless shelters in fiscal year 2018 did so because of domestic violence, up from 30% in fiscal year 2014, according to a report released Monday by Comptroller Scott Stringer.

“No family that has entered a domestic violence shelter should ever leave without access to stable housing or find themselves placed in a commercial hotel,” Stringer said in a statement. “It is not enough to say we support survivors — we need to put our money where our mouth is and implement bold reforms to actually provide survivors with the support they need to achieve long-term housing and economic independence.”

 

Stringer said the city should increase the capacity for domestic violence shelters and stop sending survivors and their families to commercial hotels. He said the city should also look into prohibiting landlords and brokers from refusing tenants with a criminal history or low credit score caused by their identity as a survivor of domestic violence.

He also proposed a “housing stability fund” for survivors of domestic violence and increase free or cheap legal services for them.