NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — An aide to Gov. Andrew Cuomo offered a scathing assessment of the de Blasio administration’s homeless policy.
In a Facebook post Wednesday night, Barbara Brancaccio, who works in Cuomo’s Office of Storm Recovery, wrote: “I want to be very clear … the homeless ‘crises’ is the result of incompetent leadership in City Hall, the Human Resources Administration (HRA) and the Department of Homeless Services. Together, they are tragically misguided, out of control and completely to blame.”
As CBS2’s Marcia Kramer reported, the post signals an escalation in the war of words between Cuomo and Mayor Bill de Blasio over how to get the homeless off the streets.
Brancaccio knows a lot about homelessness. She previously served as the spokeswoman for the Department of Homeless Services under former Mayor Michael Bloomberg.
And as the number of homeless on the streets has continued to skyrocket — with New Yorkers witnessing sights such as more people begging and a homeless man taking a bath in the fountain at Columbus Circle — so has the dispute between the mayor and governor.
Last month, when de Blasio announced a plan to build 15,000 units of supportive housing for the homeless, he demanded Cuomo match it — and the mayor had a homeless advocate echo that demand.
“Please, from the bottom of our hearts, we need you to step up,” said Mary Brosnahan, president and CEO of the Coalition for the Homeless.
Aides to the governor responded, saying the state already contributes more than $1 billion to existing homeless programs in the city.
But that wasn’t good enough for the mayor. And in case Cuomo missed de Blasio’s move — throwing $2.6 billion at the homeless problem — the mayor had a terse message for Cuomo.
“The city just did more,” de Blasio said.
A Cuomo spokesman said Thursday that Brancaccio doesn’t speak for the governor on homeless policy.
A de Blasio spokeswoman said: “We assure the advocates would not agree (with Brancaccio’s remarks). We certainly do not.”
Cuomo intends to unveil his own homeless policy for New York City on Jan. 13.
Brancaccio’s Facebook post had been deleted as of Thursday afternoon.