Bay Ridge, Dyker Heights and Fort Hamilton residents have reported a high volume of quality-of-life complaints in the past month, particularly about the homeless and panhandling, according to Community Board 10.
The complaints come in the wake of a Quinnipiac University poll released Thursday, August 6 that found that only 33 percent of New York City voters said the quality of life in the city is “very good” or “good,” a record-low total.
“Being in the district with one of the lowest crime rates in New York, we take quality of life very seriously,” said Josephine Beckmann, district manager of CB 10. “There has been an increase in the number of quality-of-life complaints in the last month or so.”
Many residents who live in the district send complaints about various issues to CB 10, which reports them to the Police Department. According to Beckmann, more people have reported seeing homeless people sleeping on benches in the neighborhood and along highways, but panhandling has been the hot-button problem for these locals.
“A lot of people here are friendly and are receptive of the homeless, and we have meal programs to assist the homeless,” Beckmann said. “But panhandling—especially aggressive panhandling—concerns residents.”
Beckmann said she had not fully analyzed the data yet, but quality-of-life complaints from the three neighborhoods tend to spike at random points every few years and turn out to be anomalies.
The Quinnipiac University Poll, however, stated that there have been record numbers of complaints about the homeless in the city overall. Fifty three percent of voters reported seeing more homeless people than they did a few years ago, while 15 percent and 26 percent, respectively, said they spot them less and about as often.
Forty nine percent of voters said they have stumbled upon more homeless people panhandling, while 14 percent stated they’ve seen a decrease and 32 percent of voters argued there has been no difference, according to the poll.
The Quinnipiac University Poll conducted the telephone survey of 1,108 self-identified registered voters in the city. The margin of sampling error was 2.9 percentage points.