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Top homeless advocate Christine Quinn proposes an incentive for building affordable housing

Top advocate Christine Quinn on New York City's homeless crisis
Top advocate Christine Quinn on New York City's homeless crisis 02:08

NEW YORK -- A top advocate for people experiencing homelessness offers a novel idea for building affordable housing -- make it a pre-requisite for getting the green light on other development projects, like the awarding of casino licenses.

Political reporter Marcia Kramer says the idea surfaced during a discussion on "The Point," CBS2's Sunday morning talk show.

When New York City announced plans recently to build a new soccer stadium near Citi Field in Queens, it included hundreds of units of below-market rent housing.

READ MORE: New York City's first Major League Soccer stadium coming to Willets Point, Queens

Now, former council speaker Christine Quinn, the head of the city's largest provider of shelter and housing for families experiencing homelessness, says if the city wants to end the homeless crisis, make building affordable housing a requirement for any development project, including the three new casinos due to be built here.

"Should the city and the state require the people who get those licenses, I'm not saying build affordable housing at the casino, but I'm saying build it someplace as a pre-requisite for getting the license. What are your thoughts on that?" Kramer said.

"Absolutely," Quinn said. "Yes, that should absolutely, absolutely happen, as well as those type of establishments should connect to providers to get homeless people working in supermarkets or casinos or whatever you're building."

Kramer also asked Quinn why mayor after mayor has failed to solve the homeless problem.

"I think most mayors really haven't been honest with New Yorkers in the sense that it's gonna be hard to solve the homeless crisis, but we can do it. And what it's gonna entail is shelters in neighborhoods, supportive housing in neighborhoods, low-income affordable housing in neighborhoods, and it's gonna take maybe a decade. And mayors don't like to say, 'We're sending bad things to your neighborhood that you don't like.' They're not bad things, but that's how people see them," Quinn said.

Quinn says that mayors like plans that they can solve "neatly" during a four-year term. She says mayors should face the reality that building shelters and affordable housing is a long-term solution, not a short-term fix.

Watch the entire interview with Quinn at 11:30 a.m. Sunday on CBS2 and streaming on CBS News New York.

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