Natasha Logan got the good news in September 2020. After more than a decade on the NYCHA waiting list, she was found eligible for an apartment.

Soon, she figured, she would be able to move out of a College Point homeless shelter and into a place of her own. And by May 2021, things were looking up: A one-bedroom apartment had opened up at the Ingersoll Houses, across the street from Fort Greene Park. She visited the fifth-floor unit on May 24, took some photos and learned that the apartment needed a paint job and new appliances—easy fixes—before she could move in.

But 10 months after that apartment visit, Logan is still living in the College Point shelter, where she has weathered three COVID surges and chemotherapy to treat her breast cancer. She’s not sure what’s taking so long.

Amid New York City’s ongoing homelessness crisis, the length of time it takes NYCHA to rent out available apartments has more than doubled over the last five years. At the same time, the number of people moving from Department of Homeless Services (DHS) shelters into public housing has plummeted. […]

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