By Steve Kastenbaum, CNN
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(CNN) – New York City is experiencing its largest wave of homelessness since the Great Depression.
The spike started following cuts to a government rent subsidy program. Ironically, the impact of having to provide shelter to more than 20,000 homeless children each night is costing the city more money than the cost of the subsidies.
[3:37] “It costs $36,000 a year to shelter a homeless family in New York City. In comparison, a rental voucher is $10,000 a year. So it’s more than three times more expensive to have that family in shelter than it is to give that family permanent housing,” said Patrick Markee, a policy analyst at the non-profit Coalition for the Homeless.
Ester Fuchs teaches Public Policy and Political Science at Columbia University. She says it’s a prime example of how seeking short term solutions to budget problems can result in more tax dollars being spent down the road.
[4:03] “They’re going after what used to be called entitlements and they are not concerned with the ripple effects down the line for state governments or for city governments.”