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NYC Comptroller: City's Homeless Shelters Are 'Absolute Disgrace'

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork)-- New York City officials say more needs to be done to improve conditions for the city's homeless.

Comptroller Scott Stringer's analysis points out that New York City is spending $1.7 billion per year on the homeless, a 46 percent increase from two years ago. His office estimates the entire homeless population is just over 60,000.

"If you spend $1.7 billion, we New Yorkers, New Yorkers expect us to be doing a lot better than we are," Stringer told reporters, including WCBS 880's Rich Lamb.

A recent report in early January from Stringer found that homeless shelters in the city are plagued by numerous serious code violations. The more than 18,000 code violations in family shelters includes vermin infestation, deteriorating structures, and faulty smoke detectors.

"These homeless shelters are an absolute disgrace. Children are sleeping in these shelters with rats and infestations, serious building violations are rampant throughout this system," Stringer said.

Stringer said that we need to see real tangible returns in our shelters.

"I'm more concerned about homeless children than homeless horses," Stringer told reporters Wednesday.

The comptroller said that the money dedicated to fight homelessness is not the issue, but that coordination and management need to be improved.

Stringer presented his analysis of the 2017 New York City budget Wednesday at the David N. Dinkins Municipal Building.


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