Legal Aid's Chief Attorney Says City's Housing Policies Led To Explosion In The Shelter System

In a story following the recent New York Times investigation of family homelessness and poverty, New York Magazine described The Legal Aid Society's role as representing the City’s homeless population, and noted that in 2004 the Bloomberg Administration ended a long-standing program that gave homeless families priority access to subsidized housing, and, later, the time-limited rental-assistance program that replaced it.

Steven Banks, the Society's Attorney-in-Chief, told New York Magazine that "[i]t was a shocking reversal from the policies that three mayors with very different approaches — Koch, Dinkins and Giuliani — embraced." Combined with the 2008 economic downturn, these changes, Banks said, “led directly to the explosion in the shelter system.”