De Blasio claims abundant NYC homeless encampments are ‘very, very rare’
Mayor de Blasio made the head-scratching claim that homeless encampments are “very, very rare” in the city — despite the proliferation of sprawling shantytowns that has been well documented across the five boroughs in recent months.
“I just want to say, once in awhile we still see something that’s an encampment,” de Blasio said at a remote City Hall press briefing Monday.
“That means people trying to set up basically permanent lodging on the street, but it’s very very rare in New York City right now because we made a decision years ago in this administration to stop what had happened for decades before and not allow those encampments,” he said.
“So sometimes you see what we call a hotspot which is people congregating but not setting up you know a living place in effect,” he insisted.
A 1010 WINS reporter had asked the mayor about a group of vagrants living under a tent on Whitney and Broadway in Elmhurst, Queens since early April.
But the problem stretches far beyond the one encampment in Queens.
A homeless man was stabbed and left to die in a pool of his own blood on W. 38th Street Saturday. He was reportedly living nearby in a cardboard tent set up near a parking lot between Ninth and 10th avenues.
Last month, The Post documented a series of encampments under the FDR Drive from Catherine Slip to Pier 11 The makeshift shelters were outfitted with cast-off furniture, mattresses and even barbecues.
Before Monday, de Blasio himself ordered officials to clear homeless enclaves in the East Village and the one at the foot of City Hall that started as an anti-police protest site.
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