- Associated Press - Thursday, June 2, 2016

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) - Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Thursday unveiled the first steps of a $10 billion plan to address the state’s homelessness crisis.

The Democratic governor’s administration said the first phase includes seeking to open 1,200 supportive housing units for individuals in need of mental health care, workforce training or other specialized services. The state is also working to quickly make more than 500 beds available in state-run facilities for homeless people in New York City.

Other steps include the creation of a new Interagency Council on Homelessness and the completion of inspections of all 916 homeless shelters in the state to identify unsafe or substandard conditions.

“Gov. Cuomo’s action plan is a broad, wide-reaching approach to addressing one of our society’s most troubling and intransigent problems,” said James Rubin, Cuomo’s commissioner of Homes and Community Renewal. “

It’s part of a five-year, $10 billion homelessness plan to add 6,000 supportive housing units over five years and improve services for homeless people throughout the state.

The shelter inspections turned up 25,815 violations, including 4,344 that were deemed “severe.” The state will require shelters to correct problems or risk a loss of funding, closure or the appointment of a temporary operator.

A report issued earlier Thursday by a coalition of some advocates for the homeless faulted Cuomo and lawmakers for not doing enough to address homelessness, noting that the number of people in homeless shelters around the state has increased by 41 percent since 2011.

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