That was one reason cited for a substantial overhaul of policies around public benefits that have irked advocates for the poor during the Giuliani and Bloomberg administrations.
Among the changes that HRA boss Steve Banks highlighted was a decision to—after years of New York City refusing the help—apply for a waiver to permit unemployed adults without disabilities or kids to get food stamps beyond a federal time limit.
Another was a move to "support the provision in the recently enacted State budget that offers four years of college as an option to HRA clients as part of mandated training and employment initiatives." Previous mayors resisted counting anything other that paid work as satisfying the personal responsibility requirements of welfare reform.
Banks testified that in 2012-2013, 13.8 percent of the 50,000 people who were "sanctioned" by HRA (meaning they had their welfare reduced or suspended) entered the shelter system after that happened.
While it can't yet be established that the sanction triggered the homelessness, it can't have helped.