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Housing Conundrums

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The number of people using New York City homeless shelters was at a record high last year, and to accommodate more people, the city leases vacant units from private landlords in low income neighborhoods. The system pushes out paying tenants, who often pay less than what the city will pay the landlord: $3,000 per month. Since 2011, when government funded programs designed to help people permanently leave the shelter system were cut, the number of these leased apartments has shot up 66 percent to 2,500. Most these units are in dilapidated buildings, and landlords now see the demand for shelter as a way to make a profit. [WNYC]