NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio: Subway homeless is my problem

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Political reporter Dave Evans has the details on the growing homeless crisis on the subway.

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio (D) responded to criticism from New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) and MTA Chairman Joe Lhota, saying he and police take responsibility for the growing homeless crisis in our subways.

"Are we comfortable with a situation where someone is sleeping under a subway bench?" de Blasio asked. "No! It's not acceptable. It's our responsibility to address."

The controversy began over a photo from the New York Post of a homeless man sleeping under train seats on the #3 subway line. The governor on Monday seized on the issue as another example of the mayor not doing enough to fix the subways.

Cuomo and the mayor have feuded over an $800 million subway repair plan. The governor has said he'd pay half if the mayor pays for the other half, but de Blasio has refused because the subways are run by the MTA, a state agency.

"We need to get the homeless off the trains and out of the subway stations so people feel safe and to get the homeless the help they need," Cuomo said on Monday.

Chairman Lhota was more harsh, saying, "the city must stop running from its responsibility. We hear from subway riders all day long and their opinion is unanimous: Mayor, fund the subway repair plan and get the sleeping homeless off the trains."

Mayor de Blasio has since questioned Governor Cuomo's criticism saying, "I don't know why he would criticize the NYPD, which is doing an outstanding job." He went on, "I'm very comfortable in saying that's something we will take responsibility in addressing."

This is just the latest in a long history of disagreements between Cuomo and de Blasio.

On Tuesday, one reporter asked de Blasio, "Do you think your relationship with the governor is deteriorating?" The mayor responded, "No, it's pretty much consistent," as the room full of reporters erupted in laughter.

Related Topics:
politicsmtasubwayhomelessMayor Bill de Blasiobill de blasioandrew cuomoNew York City
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