August 25, by Nathaly Pesantez
The number of families with children from the western Queens neighborhood of Elmhurst, Jackson Heights, and Corona who have entered homeless shelters has gone up in recent years, according to a newly released report on homelessness in the city.
According to the study by the Citizens’ Committee for Children of New York, which takes a look at homelessness across the city and its correlation with income and rent data, Jackson Heights and north Corona saw 54 families with children entering homeless shelters in 2015, an increase of 14 families from 2013.
The study says that the increase in family homelessness in these neighborhoods, coupled with rising rents and declining incomes, can also contribute to overcrowding, which may lead to further homelessness. Roughly a quarter of households in Jackson Heights, Corona, and Elmhurst are overcrowded, compared to around 11 percent across the city, according to the study.
The report also says that the three neighborhoods have seen substantial increases in households that are rent burdened, or households that spend more than half of their income on rent.
While homelessness has not been a major issue for western Queens as it has been for other parts of the city, the study suggests that the homelessness, rent, and income trends recorded for Jackson Heights, Corona, and Elmhurst indicate a potential need for Department of Homeless Services (DHS) locations and programs in the area, as the only homeless prevention centers in Queens are in Jamaica and Far Rockaway.
As far as rates across the city, the number of families entering homeless shelters went up by 23 percent from 2012 to 2016. The majority of families in this figure come from the Bronx, Brooklyn, and parts of Manhattan. Two-thirds of the DHS shelter population are families with children, according to the report.
To access the full report, click here.