Rent-subsidy programs for the homeless only 'a start,' says de Blasio

New York City Mayor Bill De Blasio speaks New York City Mayor Bill De Blasio speaks at City Hall on July 3, 2014 in New York City. Photo Credit: Getty Images / Andrew Burton

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Two rent-subsidy programs created to alleviate homelessness in New York City are "a start," but more work must be done, Mayor Bill de Blasio said Wednesday at an unrelated news conference in Harlem.

A $80 million program to aid homeless families with at least one member working full time and a $59 million program to help chronically homeless families were the product of negotiations between city and state officials. City, state and federal coffers fund the programs.

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"We've got to really redouble our efforts to help people out of the shelter," de Blasio said.

In the spring, de Blasio and Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo had clashed over whether the city's request for program funding came too late to meet the state budget deadline, but Cuomo ultimately relented.

Coalition for the Homeless president and chief executive Mary Brosnahan called the programs "promising," with the right emphasis placed on stemming "the tide of families pouring into emergency shelter by keeping them in their homes."

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