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Scottish Charity Register No. SC043760

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NYC shelters charge rent

July 06 2009
Policy keeps homeless in temporary housing Some of the homeless living in government-run shelters in New York, USA, are being charged rent for the first time. The policy, introduced last month, applies to around 2,000 of the city's 9,000 homeless families who have income from jobs. Shelter residents are expected to pay up to half their earnings in rent, which many say is ruining their chances of saving enough money to get an apartment. Single mum Vanessa Dacosta, who earns $800 (£487) per month as a cashier, received a notice saying she had to pay $336 a month in rent to the Clinton Family Inn homeless shelter in Manhattan. She said: "It's not right. I spent nearly $100 a week on childcare and I'm trying to save money to get out of here. I don't want to be in a shelter forever." Arnold Cohen, of the Partnership for the Homeless, said: "They are taking money from them that could otherwise be used to help themselves get out of the shelter system." But city authorities say they are only charging people who can afford to pay.