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In New York Times Article, Steve Banks Argues for More Federal Support for Housing the Homeless

June 14, 2022

Special Counsel Steve Banks was quoted in The New York Times on June 14 in an article on the funding gap for housing for chronically homeless people. Steve, who sued the city and won the universal right to shelter on behalf of the city’s homeless before he became commissioner of New York City’s Department of Social Services, discussed New York’s past, unsuccessful request to access Medicaid funds to provide rental assistance to the city’s homeless and the city’s current efforts to persuade the federal government to view housing as a health care right.

“You can find agencies and leaders of agencies all around the country who are finding creative ways to navigate around the failures of other systems,” Steve says in the article, because the federal government is not doing enough.

Making housing vouchers an entitlement would be a major step forward, he says. “It would result in significant progress if Medicaid dollars could be used for rental assistance in addition to services to help people regain stability in their lives when living with significant mental health challenges,” he adds.

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