New policy doesn't charge homeless with a job to stay in city shelters - it makes them save cash

Daniel L. Squadron

June 11, 2010

Homeless people with jobs won't have to pay rent to stay in city shelters under a new deal announced Friday - but they will have to start saving money to get their own apartments.

"Instead of paying us fees for shelter, the money they save will be theirs when they leave the shelter," Mayor Bloomberg said. "We hope the experience will improve their financial literacy and show the value of saving."

The new policy, expected to soon become law in Albany, will require shelter residents with jobs to set aside a portion of their income in interest-bearing accounts.

Existing law requires the city to charge rent to the homeless. But when it tried to enforce the long-ignored rule, it sparked outrage among legislators and homeless activists.

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