Politics Homelessness and Structural Vacancy

RESEARCH QUESTIONS

Homelessness, Statistics and Geography: NYC Government Policy and the Shelter System

What are the demographics of the homeless population in NYC?

How have these demographics shifted since the mid70s?

What are the age, racial, gender and geographical characteristics of the homeless population in NYC?

What are the health characteristics of this population?

What are the NYC governmental agencies and policies that oversee the “emergency management” of the homeless population?

What is the origin of the “right to shelter” and how does that differ from a right to a home?

What laws govern the treatment and official response to the homeless crisis in NYC?

Where are the shelters in NYC located, their number and characteristics?

How much does NYC spend on the “homeless crisis” and how does it spend this money?

Who are the advocates for the homeless and what do they advocate?

What do homeless people say they need and require and who is seeking to provide such?

Structural Vacancies: Public and Private

How many vacant homes, apartments and buildings are there in NYC and where are they located?

Who owns them; public, private, banks, individuals?

How long have they been vacant?

What shape are they in?

How are they maintained, secured, overseen?

How many have been demolished over the past decade?

Is there talk of demolition of these spaces?

If so, who would carry out the demolitions?

What do the local neighborhood people say and feel about the vacancies in their midst?

Is it possible to chart the shifting structural pattern of vacancies in NYC from “city owned” (in the 70s) to bank and privately owned over the course of the last four decades, up through the recent crisis in home foreclosures?

Why has there been no movement to house the homeless in these vacant homes?

What is the number of vacancies according to the census and to latest community count down (Picture the Homeless)? by community district and borough

What is the distribution of vacant properties in Brooklyn (define the different categories)? What are the most affected areas by foreclosures in the borough? What is the amount of foreclosure procedures in Brushwick?

Government Policy: Evictions and Foreclosures

Who in recent times and over the past decade is getting evicted in NYC; how many and what are their class, racial and gender characteristics?

How many foreclosures have taken place in NYC over the past decade and in what areas are they concentrated?

What are the class, racial and gender characteristics of those who have lost their homes due to foreclosure?

What are the projections for the number of foreclosures in NYC over the next few years?

Who are the agencies and elements implicated in the eviction of people from their homes in NYC?

What are the percentages of those evicted due to causes other than economics?

Have “moratorium on evictions” ever taken place, been instituted in NYC, other cities, other countries?

From a legal standpoint, how are people evicted in NYC?

What is the characteristics and role of the “city marshal”?

Are tenants (including former homeowners ‘squatting’ in their own homes) generally aware of their rights when facing eviction?

How many city residents entered into NYC Housing Court last year facing eviction and how many were evicted?

What sort of legal defense do those facing eviction in Housing Court receive?

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