- See more at: http://blogtimenow.com/blogging/automatically-redirect-blogger-blog-another-blog-website/#sthash.Q6qPkwFC.dpuf Bronx Homeless Advocates Hope to Reveal Extent of Vacant Property in the City | Bronx News Networkbronx

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Bronx Homeless Advocates Hope to Reveal Extent of Vacant Property in the City

Last month, the Norwood News featured an article about the unique learning center for homeless advocacy called Picture the Homeless (PTH) over on Morris Avenue. The article explored the story of one PTH member Arvernetta Henry and told of her struggle to hold her job as a teacher in the Bronx while being housed in a homeless shelter in Queens. Eventually, because of her long commute, she could no longer keep her job. Henry, like other homeless New Yorkers, remains frustrated with her situation and points to the city's numerous vacant buildings as a possible solution to the problem of homelessness.

This month, PTH and Hunter College’s Center for Community Planning and Development (HCCCPD) are teaming up for the first-ever count of vacant buildings and lots throughout the five boroughs.The survey aims to reveal the extent of vacant property in the city. 

“There should be no reason why there are so many homeless people in New York City when there are so many homes without people!” PTH member Alease Low says.
“These vacant buildings offer the perfect opportunity for the City to increase its stock of affordable housing, while appropriately addressing the issue of homelessness,” said Bronx Council Member Annabel Palma, chair of the Council’s Committee on General Welfare.

Palma adds that there are many positive things that the survey would do for the city. “[It will]  not only help to rehabilitate neighborhoods that have been devastated by the bad economy, but also offer a real opportunity to get families out of the shelter [system] and into affordable and permanent housing.

The survey is the most recent development of Picture the Homeless’s multi-year campaign to document the extent of vacant property in NYC.  The study’s preliminary findings are available on Vacant NYC, which maps the location of more than 11,000 vacant buildings and lots citywide.


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