Skip to main content

tv   Third Rail  Al Jazeera  August 29, 2015 8:00am-9:01am EDT

8:00 am
movers and shakers. >> we will be able to see change. >> gripping. inspiring. entertaining. talk to al jazeera. together in our debate - it's your constitutional right to bear arms. more than 150 americans are treated for gun assault every day. congress will not pass new gun laws, but would new gun laws make any difference, our gun laws - are they useless. our panel has media fuelled outrage against police shootings made it more dangerous for cops to do their jobs. amnesty international says selling yourself for sex should be decriminalized. is prostitution a new right.
8:01 am
i'm imran garda, and this is "third rail". . >> the stronger gun control you have. >> if gun control did work, washington d.c. and chicago would be the safest cities in the nation. >> preventing dangerous people from getting guns is possible. >> we have to protect the children and the population. >> the law in place is working, we need to make them better. >> no law will stop a shooting. >> we may have more americans with us. >> i think we need to ban gun control laws that keep people from protecting themselves. >> the janet reno justice under clinton said the assault weapons >> criminals don't care. that is the point. >> i can't think of a single place where a mass shooting occurred, where guns were allowed. these people look for fish in a barrel.
8:02 am
we have milwaukee county sheriff david clarke, and leah gunn barrett. >> are gun laws useless? >> i don't know if that's the right question. the question is do we have the will to the enforce what is on the books. once we have that small segment of the population that uses a gun to take property or commit an assault or intimidate, then we'll make progress in this violence reduction effort, if that is the real issue, i think it's about a political agenda than anything else. >> what is the real issue? >> the go after the perpetrators of violence. those people on the street, with long criminal histories, previous gun violations, under arrest records that are wiped
8:03 am
away or are dismissed for plea agreements. we are sending the wrong message to the perpetrators that something bad will be happening to them should be be caught committing a crime. >> i have an assorted list of shootings over the last two decade. we can go through them. besides the massive events, in the past few days alone, taking note in the new, in rochester, three used, in ferguson, a 9-year-old girl was shot doing homework in her mum's bed, and her mum was wounded. in milwaukee, your city, there has been 100 homicide, the majority, 82. are they done by a small minority of people you are talking about? >> there's a big problem. >> it's done by a small segment of the population. most of the research of crime bears that out.
8:04 am
what i true to do here in this 2-sided debate about gun behaviour. >> let's focus on the behaviour. >> your question are gun laws useless, my answer is some promote gun, death and injury, some save lives, let me give you examples of gun rules that work. background checks, criminals, domestic abusers, terrorists. new york state has universal background checks. others don't. gun deaths have been declining four years in a row. nationally they increase 6%. we don't have background checks at the federal level, congress and the n.r.a. stymie that. anti-gun trafficking laws, making it a federal offense, making trafficking a felony. making sure that someone who traffic a bun has the same
8:05 am
penalty -- a gun has the same penalty as someone that traffics a chicken. that's ridiculous. 26 states passed the stand you ground, the shoot first. if people face a threat. states like florida, who have the laws, gun deaths increase as a result. >> talking about laws that do work, i'm intrigued that you didn't mention the assault weapons band. do you agree it doesn't work? >> no, i do not agree with that. the ban was in 2004. the part that works best is limited to 10 rounds. now you buy 30, 40, 100 rounds in the market. they were military purposed weapons, designed for battlefield conditions, and have been used by mass shooters, because they are effective at killing people rapidly. >> the justice department's department definitive study said
8:06 am
they found no evidence that it reduced gun crime or made shootings less lethal. >> the fbi said things 2011 mass shootings rows three times, almost tripled, and we know high capacity is used. >> most deaths occur not from assault weapons, but handguns. they come from suicide. >> why is it that laws didn't stop dylann roof in charleston from buying a gun, or the lafayette gun, john michael how'sers, who passed a jet are or mo ham et from chattanooga - i can go on. they broke the law to do what they want, to kill people. >> in the case of charleston and others that you mentioned, the background information on the people had not been entered into the system. it was a miscommunication. because congress limits the time to clear it up, three days, and after three days you don't have
8:07 am
an answer, they go to get the gun. should be the other way around. you should extent the period and make certain that person does not have a gun. they need to put the rite information in, garbage in, garbage out. cho, the virginia tech shooter, he shouldn't have a gun. congress needs to allocate more money to follow the laws that does exist. >> seems as if the vast majority of americans wants more comprehensive background checks, 79% of republicans, according to a pew poll, more than 80% of democrats. doesn't this suggest the power of the loggy, and the fact that the politicians are out of touch with what the people want. >> i don't think it does that at all. one of the reasons is background checks, yuan version background checks. who wouldn't be for that.
8:08 am
when it's polled, it's arrived in a way that the person answering the poll doesn't uds what a universal background checks mean. >> why not dig deeper and find out more about the person that wants to buy the gun. >> here is the reason. once you break it down, most health. that's part of the argument. how do we keep firearms out of the hands of people of those judged mentally ill. >> the overwhelming majority of people who are mentally ill, would never do something like take a rife into a church or movie theatre and school and spring bullets over the place. that's an insult to think that the population is more susceptible to that type of behaviour than anyone else. everyone knows someone who suffers some sort of mental illness, who would never think about that. does their information - i'm throwing it out there.
8:09 am
does mental health information belong in a criminal database. part. the overwhelming majority are not criminals. trying to get the comprehensive database will be automatic. the criminal will find a way around any law or background step, and that's the big issue. >> the logic - why should we have speeding laws since the criminals will speed or break the speed limit. why should we have laws against speeding, people will kill each other. that's a silly arguments. the whole point of laws is they prevent people doing things to other people. keeping guns out of dangerous hands is something society would agree on, and most americans agree that background checks to make sure people who have violent criminal histories, who are adjudicated mentally ill,
8:10 am
domestic abusers, terrorists, should not get their hands on guns. time after time this has happened, we do not have bpingd checks. you can get it at a zun show, at a private sale. that is why guns are falling into the wrong hands. al qaeda said they can go gun shopping in america. what are you waiting for. >> how many of those guns are found to be involved in street violence that we are talking internet. >> a lot. the wisconsin laws. the shooting in your state. the man went and killed his gun on the internet. he couldn't buy one legally. that's the problem. >> you were attacked by the n.r.a. for allegedly saying last year that there is "no such owner". the charges
8:11 am
, six months imprisonment and 5,000 pounds fifine . [indiscernible] been acquitted by the court and they have to pay the expenses. and the sixth and the eighth equipment. thank you.
8:12 am
>> going through the details, there were a number of other trials taking place. it wasn't just the three al jazeera journalists standing trial. mohamed fahmi was sentenced to three years. peter was also sentenced to three years and mohamed was also sentenced to three years with an additional, i need to clarify this, i understand there was an additional six months and possibly a fine on to top of tht as well. so that's the verdict that has come
8:13 am
out of the trial. the retrial that's been taking place in cairo. the three al jazeera journalists. next, what we are going to do is speak to, well, let's just go back to the judge in the retrial of those three al jazeera journalists who were found the men guilty. mohamed fahmi have been accused of colluding with the muslim brotherhood. peter was deported after 400 days behind bars. he was retried in abstentia. >> three journalists hope this
8:14 am
would mark the end of an ordeal t began in december 2013 when they were arrested and charged with aiding the outlawed muslim brotherhood. they spent more than a year in jail . legal experts say the trial was a farce. it provoked an outpouring. but that didn't stop the court from convicting them as well as six other colleagues. sentencing them to several years in imprisonment, a verdict that provoked international outrage. >> we have been clear publicly and privately, they should be released. >> egypts court overturned the verdict and ordered a retrial. diplomatic pressure did pay off
8:15 am
for peter, released earlier this year. i made a return to australia. but this has cast a shadow over him. no matter how implausible the accusation. >> there was no more evidence the prosecutor was able to present. and so it's quite clear that we were not involved with any of the things that the prosecutor accused us of. we weren't involved with terrorism. we had no connections with the muslim brotherhood. we did not broadcast any false news. >> meanwhile, they have been released on bail. it was a chance to make up for lost time with a young family. speaking before this latest verdict, he said his struggle was part of a greater battle for freedom of expression. >> i don't hope anything. i'm just living day by day. i think peter will understand this. i'm living day by day. i don't hope anything, i don't expect anything.
8:16 am
i know i will continue to fight even if i was acquitted or not, i will continue to fight for press freedom and for those still behind bars who are in desperate need for our support and help. >> he's a victim of egypt's poor relations. he's taking legal action against al jazeera. it says he will carry on fighting for the three and for the other al jazeera employees who were convicted in the original trial. >> we have a former editor of the newspaper in egypt. he joins me live now on the set. what do you make of that? >> well, i guess there's nothing new. what we heard, what we saw, it's not new. we have been seeing that scene for the last two years.
8:17 am
unfortunately, judiciary in egypt do not want to shy away from politics. and this is really -- >> there had been so much hope on this case, for example, a lot of people putting stock in who was attending. we had the canadian ambassador to egypt, the british ambassador and the applebee's door for the they wanted a good sign. people had been hoping there could be a bit of face saving here and everything would be acquitted. happened? >> i believe that the whole thing in egypt, it's almost like it became almost like a run-away
8:18 am
train. and that includes the judiciary as well. i believe that the judiciary influenced very much during the last two years by politics. they have been influenced by the executive. and this is a very sort of thing to see in egypt, especially -- i'm an egyptian, i know how glorious the history of judiciary is. it has always been in egypt. i feel very frustrated personally i feel very frustrated. >> if it has had a glorious past in terms of the judiciary, is there any way to reel it back? >> i guess the only way to reel it back is to reform the country, reform politics. it's the only way is to go back to democracy, the only way is to separate between the powers.
8:19 am
i mean, there have been a mix between the powers. there's only one power. let's face it. it is the executives and it's the head of the executive to be more specific. so the only way to go back to that glorious past, i believe, is to go back to democracy. that is the only guarantee for an independent, uninfluenced judiciary. because, you see, the two main objectives of any judiciary is first to achieve justice for the benefit of the victim, be it a person, persons or a society. and the second, which in my view is more important, objective, is to prevent tomorrow's criminals from being born today which is a preventative objective. neither of these objectives have
8:20 am
been achieved in egypt by the judiciary for the last two years. >> let's bring it back to the case, the immediate result we have got here. peter was deported by presidential order. people saying they are at the mercy of mr. . >> i doubt he didn't want this trial to happen. actually, it happened when he was a defense minister and running practically the country. >> it's like a run-away train then. >> yes. that leaves us with one option, a presidential pardon, which is not a very good thing because gres there is a huge media there and just to speak to media i guess in egypt this is very
8:21 am
interesting where they run pictures of clooney's hands wowed and they thought that was the story that she was at the trial with her wedding ring on and i think that tells you plenty of egyptian media at this stage in what we are interesting, we are interested in our own team and we want you to shout your anger and send it to me at kamalaje is my twitter handle and if you follow@al jazeera with the latest from the news conference and any developments throughout the day. >> thanks for that and we will cross to james base in london and he has been monitoring international reaction to the verdict and james what has it been? >> a lot of reaction coming in and in the packed courtroom among the people there there were ambassadors too because the diplomatic community has been
8:22 am
following this closely and a lot publically and a lot behind the scenes and quiet diplomacy has been going on in resent weeks and months and i think there will be many that will be deeply disappointed and thought it would go the other way and didn't with the shocking verdict we had in the last couple of hours and countries that have ambassadors in the room. i have a statement in the last few minutes from the british foreign office from their minister from the middle east and deeply concerned by the sentences which have been handed down and says the sentences will undermine confidence in egypt's program and fahmy is a canadian national and announced his egypt citizenship, they call on the government to use its tools at its disposal to resolve mr. fa my's case and suggests the way forward is in the way of peter
8:23 am
greste to be deported to canada and what he has been doing for months. the canadian government very much supporting that route in that statement and we also have the first segment from the united nations, the human rights office of the united nations and i have been speaking to the spokesman for the high commissioner of human rights, the prince and we had huge concerns about this case all along he told me and very disturbed by these sentences and the extra pressure it creates on journalists in egypt just trying to do their job and thank you. >> let's get you updated on some of the other stories making headlines, they are questioning a foreign man they say was likely involved in the bombing in central bangkok that killed 20 people and the suspect that had several passports is the first person arrested in connection in the attack at a popular religious shrine and a
8:24 am
person left a bag at the scene but it's still unclear if it's the same man. tens of thousands of malaysia people are calling on the prime minister to resign. they want electoral reform and more transparency and politics, public outrage has been growing over a multi million payment made to a bank account in his name and monitoring this in kuala-lumpur. >> reporter: tens of thousands if not more were at the rally in independent scare in kuala-lumpur and it has been peaceful and almost festive but the message the protesters have come with is very serious and demanding the government, clean elections and a strong parliamentary democracy. they also want the right to decent and criticize the government when they see this. what the demands boil down to is
8:25 am
a widespread dissatisfaction with the prime minister and not surprising because over the last few moves months he has been accused of embezzle from a state investment fun and denies the allegation and says the money in his account came from private donations but from the sheer number of people that turned out today it's clear that there is widespread dissatisfaction and protesters are calling for him to step down. in fact, leaders of the protest have said that they want parliament to pass a motion of no confidence against him in the government when parliament meets again in october. this is unlikely to happen according to analysts but again and again protesters have told me that all they want is the chance to come out on to the streets and express their dissatisfaction. >> reporter: people in the hungari
8:26 am
hungarian budapest, they discovered 71 bodies in an abandon truck near the border with hungry and four suspects have been detained over the deaths. the u.n. secretary-general ban ki-moon announced plans to convene a special meeting on the sidelines of u.n. general assembly on the general crisis and calling on governments to do more to help people arriving on their shores. >> i have been there and seen how difficult it is. i commend the leaders and communities for stepping up but much more is required. i appeal to all governments to expend the channels of migration and act with humanity, compassion and in accordance with their international obligation. this is a human tragedy that requires a determined, collective political response.
8:27 am
>> along with thousands of middle eastern african refugees young pakistani men are trying to reach europe and agents and smugglers are making millions of dollars from their search for a better life and nicole johnston reports. >> reporter: with a few phone calls they descend pakistan men thousands kilometers away from home. he is a people smuggler, a job that earns around $35,000 in a good year. and this is not his real name. >> translator: crazy about going to europe and it's free there and it's powerful and can earn much more and want to risk everything including their life to get to the europe. >> what is the success rate like for people trying to make it to europe. >> translator: there is a 50/50 chance. it is unpredictable. going by ship or a mountain is dangerous, they have to walk for days and sometimes they will be at sea for 14 hours with no captain.
8:28 am
sometimes there is nothing and they are attacked or missing or die from hunger. >> reporter: he has been in this business for 11 years. he says there is no shortage of men prepared to pay up to $6,000 for an illegal passage to greece. >> europe through greece and sici sicily, italy. >> reporter: most migrants traveling from pakistan are looking for a better life. here there is high unemployment and unsecurety and are desperate to leave and sent one son away hoping he would be able to eventually support the whole family. it's a lot of pressure for young men and he studied engineering but cannot find a job and three months ago his family including his uncles gave $9,000 to an agent to send him to the uk.
8:29 am
>> translator: i was desperate to go to england at any cost and that is why i made a deal, the agent told me everything was ready and now he disappeared and now i lost my money and my passport. >> i did seek mediation and it was against a person but i strongly take the action. >> reporter: the government does have a special investigation's unit that deals with people smuggling and has a list of over 100 wanted ring leaders but smugglers are able to operate beneath the radar. >> translator: yes, there are so many cracking down on this. it can't be done openly or easily so the only dealing with people who have been with us. >> reporter: the calls keep coming and there are more clients to meet, in pakistan it seems a smuggler's work is never
8:30 am
done, nicole johnston, al jazeera, islamabad. the sentencing of our three journalists can be found on our website along with all the other stories making the news, al for the others, there is no doubt they will be appealing. >> new york, new york. eight point four million people call this city home. >> twenty-four degrees snowing hard in central park, going down to twenty in midtown. snowfall one to two feet. so they're now saying we could have snow falling as rapidly as new york new york 8.4 million s people call the city home. >> it's snowing hard in central park and 20 in midtown and snowfall one to two feet and saying we could have snow falling as rapidly as 5" an hour. >> the coldest winter in 81 years and coincides with a grim reality.
8:31 am
more people in new york city are homeless today than at any point since the 1930s. >> a city wide code blue through floors. >> it's really difficult once you find ways to just get through day-to-day from finding clothing to finding shelter to finding where you will eat. >> today it's hectic because of the snow outside and not a places for us to sleep now and everybody is kind of coming in. >> in just a decade the number of people living in new york's homeless shelters has nearly doubled and reaching 60,000 a night last year. it's a homelessness crisis unprecedented in any american city. >> what we see today, the homeless that we see, the exodus from this city, families doubling, tripling up, the rent sky rocketing, this has been a crisis that has been cooking for 20 years. >> why are so many in new york homeless? this week fault lines looks at
8:32 am
the forces that are displacing thousands from their homes. ♪ we are on our way to the south bronx to new york's intake center for homeless families, more than 70% of the people in the city shelters are families with children. >> homelessness is so complicated. it's not just a guy the street with that shopping cart and it isn't just this one person who made the wrong choice or had bad luck. >> to apply for shelter a family must first come to this building known as pack, journalists are not allowed inside. >> we have been here just a few hours and there have been dozens of families coming in. it has been really shocking. a lot of young children and
8:33 am
working parents trying to make it. what is it like in there? >> it's not what people think. everyday people. >> i don't judge people because you never know the situation you are in. >> my salary i get paid $9 so you do the math. >> how did you know about the center? >> i googled it, googled family shelters. >> is this your first time in the shelter system? >> yes. >> what is this guy's name? >> josaia. >> where are you sleeping these days? >> you come in and they put you on a ten-day placement and okay you are denied or approved. >> if you are denied? >> if you are denied you have to come back and do the process all over again. >> this is what you are doing now? >> for the third time. >> new york city has an obligation to provide shelter to all individuals who are homeless
8:34 am
and because of that tradition new york city has the largest public shelter system in the united states. >> leading advocate for the homeless. >> the cost of shelter is exorbitant and spends a million in shelter and emergency services for homeless people. >> new york operates 250 homeless shelters but still half of the families who apply for shelter are rejected. >> the city has put in place these kind of bureaucratic barriers that wrongfully and unlawfully deny shelter to many needy families. >> come in and help me with your brother. >> reporter: we met melissa who is 25 and has three kids. >> i go there every single day and i come home. come here. come sit by mommy. my minimi me and she looks just like me.
8:35 am
>> these kids mean everything to you, huh? >> yes, they are my life. i love them dearly. my babies. >> reporter: melissa has been homeless for three years and she and her kids now sleep in the living room of her grandmother's public housing unit. >> i have this couch and bring it together with that one and put the blankets on there. >> you all sleep right here. >> me and my two daughters and my son right here. we sleep. >> new york child services agency told melissa she is endangering her kids by keeping them here. >> how does your grandmother feel about you living here in her living room? >> she hates it. >> the city denied her shelter application seven times and melissa works as a door to door sales woman and only makes $700 a month. had you ever had to sleep on the streets? >> not with my kids thank god
8:36 am
and i have on my own when i was 16 and i don't want that life for them so just thinking about that they could be in the situation that i was in before, knowing that i'm by myself is a lot of things that i would love to have but it's so expensive, i don't make enough to get any of those things. a lot of rich people here. they want to make the city for people who can afford things and forget about people who cannot afford it, they will just have to leave the city is how i see it. >> reporter: one in five new yorkers lives below the federal poverty life. meanwhile housing costs continue to soar.
8:37 am
median rents have risen by 5% and income has dropped by 7%. she has lived in new york her whole life and for over a year she and her kids have been forced to live in shelter. >> when it came down to the ending of my lease, that was a prime opportunity for the landlord to say okay we don't want this program in here any way. >> she depended on a state program to help her pay the rent, when her landlord raised the price she was evicted. >> he wanted higher rent. >> so your place has gone up to $2200. >> yes. >> could you afford that? >> absolutely not. >> reporter: she is looking for an apartment she can afford. it's a search that has taken her far outside the city, an hour and a half bus ride to middle town new york. we met her in middle town but the broker who agreed to show her around cancelled. so i just really in a really bad emotional place right now, not
8:38 am
feeling the greatest. i feel like it was just a pure waste of time. >> reporter: to salvage the trip she decided to look anyway. what is it like doing a search in the shelter is it hard? >> when you are in a shelter it's double hard and i would rather come out and take a look and do what i need to do to get my family out of the circumstance opposed to sitting there and not doing anything. >> do you see yourself living here? >> no. >> you don't know? >> i don't know yet. >> do you know a lot of people here? >> no, not at all. >> do you have a lot of friends and family in new york? >> in the city, yeah, absolutely, that is where i grew up at so i know my areas. >> do you feel like you have been forced to leave the city? >> with the rent, with the rent as high as they are, yes. middle class people in the city are not being really catered to and bussing their behind working everyday constantly to the point where, you know, they are not
8:39 am
even sleeping, you know. and if they miss a paycheck then that is a possibility they can be where i am and that is the realism of it. no topic off limits. >> 'cause i'm like, "dad, there are hookers in this house". >> exclusive conversations you won't find anywhere else. >> these are very vivid, human stories. >> if you have an agenda with people, you sometimes don't see the truth. >> "talk to al jazeera". only on al jazeera america.
8:40 am
>> whose city? >> our city! >> whose city? >> our city! >> what do we want? >> affordable housing! >> what do we want? >> affordable housing! >> when do we want it? >> now! >> we're in the middle of a rally with hundreds of new yorkers from east new york, a working class neighborhood in brooklyn. what do we want?
8:41 am
affordable housing. rallying with hundreds of new yorkers in east new york in brooklyn. people here are demanding half of the new houses built here are affordable to them. >> push them out because the rent is so high they can't afford it. the mayor michael bloomberg the city lost a third of apartments considered affordable to poor families. >> what we see now are effects of 20 years of housing policy, 20 years of people little by little being pushed out. no attempt to house these human beings. >> and homelessness, the number is rising everyday. >> homelessness right here. >> they are getting pushed out of state. >> new york city under the bloomberg administration eliminated entirely the
8:42 am
permanent housing programs which were designed to help homeless families and children leave the shelter system. >> under bloomberg the number of people in homeless shelters each night went from 31,000 to 54,000. >> essentially what we have it was a massive social experiment that if you take away permanent housing assistance from the needy children and families in the city what will happen? >> no good jobs. >> everyday in this city people are losing their homes, if we do not act, new york risks taking on the qualities and the gated community. >> mayor bill deblasio was elected in 2013 on a promise to reverse new york's growing economic inequality. >> the city has for decades let developers write their rules with housing and it's taking a
8:43 am
fundamentally different approach. >> reporter: vowed to create and preserve 200,000 affordable units and his plan relies on tax incentives to developers. . >> if you are a developer, if you set aside 20% of those units for low-income folks, the city will give you tax breaks on that property. >> reporter: robert robinson is an advocate who was formally homeless. >> i would challenge deblasia and say it's no different than bloomberg, 80 per market rate and the more you create housing like that you are saturating the market with market-rate housing. developers in the city want to profit as much as they can and their heart is not into building houses for poor people, that is not their goal, their goal is to get market-rate rents. >> reporter: new york's largest existing stock of affordable housing is the one million
8:44 am
apartments that are rent regulated under state law. but the trend is clear, since the early 80s nearly 20% of these have been converted to market rate. >> hi. >> reporter: she has lived in a rent stabilized apartment in the bronx since 1988. by law her landlord can only raise her rent a small percentage each year but if she moves out he can raise the rent 20%. >> the area is going through this and that is no secret. the writing is on the wall, if you can get these buildings from being rent stabilized then you can charge $2500 a month, $3,000 a month eventually. >> she never missed a rent payment but six months ago she received an eviction order from her landlord. >> the most helpless feeling i ever experienced really. >> what was your biggest fear at that moment? >> being homeless and you don't
8:45 am
think rationally when -- you don't think rationally when you think you're going to lose your home. . >> reporter: the number one cause of family homelessness in new york is eviction. in 2012 more than one-third of family whose applied for shelter had recently been evicted. >> 33,000 who have been evicted in new york city in the last two years. 33,000 families? >> reporter: her building has 50 code violations. >> the apartment was full of lead. there were like holes in the walls. the bathroom ceiling almost collapsed. this will probably fall down at any minute. >> reporter: last spring she asked for repairs, one day a crew arrived and demolished her bathroom. >> my daughter came in, i recorded her and she is like what is this? >> taking a bath. >> i don't know.
8:46 am
>> i'm angry. >> it makes you angry? >> yes. >> why? >> because it's ruined. >> it's really ruined. >> hopefully the landlord will fix it, right. we didn't have a bathroom for over a month and packing our bags every night to find somewhere to bathe. it's frustrating because my rent is paid. >> owners are not viewed favorably by neighborhood. i think we are probably somewhere on the bottom next to real estate agents or bankers. >> reporter: joseph straussberg is the president of the rent stablezation association, a lobby group for landlord. >> every economist will tell you any artificial controls do not work. >> explain this to me, you call the rent stabilization association and you are opposed to rent stabilization. >> that is right, the government requires so many rules and regulations they impose on owners and many of them are small property owners and not very sophisticated. >> with all these regulations
8:47 am
there is still this constant full of people who are getting evicted and i'm just wondering what you would say to a homeless family that was evicted out of a rent stabilized building. >> if they are paying the rent how do they get evicted? >> just in the past month we met so many families. >> if they have been paying their rent there is no way they could be evicted. if they were evicted it was done illegally but owners, they are not in the business of providing social services, that is the government's responsibility. >> everyday we read stories about repairs not being done, people being harassed, they don't get heat, they don't get hot water. this doesn't just happen. it's a system and it's done systematically. there are ways to legally push people out. it's only illegal when you get caugh
8:48 am
caught. get to know the people, their struggles, their hardships and their triumphs. >> it gives me a lot of pride. >> our american story is written everyday. it's not always pretty, but it's real... and we show you like no-one else can. this is our american story. this is america tonight. >> i think we're into something that's bigger than us >> that's the pain your mother feels when you disrespect her son... >> me being here is defying all odds >> they were patriots, they wanted their country back >> al jazeera america presents the passion.. >> onward! pain... >> it's too much though... >> and triumph... >> inspirational real life stories... >> all these labels the world throws at you, that's what drives me to push... >> of ordinary people >> i tasted the american dream.
8:49 am
i liked it... >> living extraordinary lives... >> if we could multiply this program, we could change the world... >> from the best filmmakers of our time, >> i give al jazeera tremendous credit, because it's not traditionally what broadcast journalism does... >> the new home for original documentaries al jazeera america presents only on al jazeera america >> crown heights, brooklyn. more families from this neighborhood have entered the shelter system than from any other in new york. ♪ her in new york. crown heights brooklyn, more families from this neighborhood have entered the shelter system
8:50 am
than from any other in new york. >> i've been here a long time and i'm a senior and i listen to some of the rents some of these people are paying, i can't >> i heard about them. afford that. >> reporter: we are at a meeting called by people who live in the building. >> i could be homeless too, any of us could have a situation where something happens and we lose money and your apartment, any one of us could find ourselves without our home. >> reporter: the home is rent stabilized but keisha was the last paying tenant to move in. >> people are saying this building is about to change drastically. >> reporter: she started to notice bunk beds being moved in the building and she asked the supervisor what was happening. >> it's for the people. and i said what people, for the shelter people. >> reporter: they were turning the building into a type of a shelter known as a cluster site that houses families. >> they are housing families in
8:51 am
need of emergency shelter in my building. >> reporter: the city created cluster sites over a decade ago as homelessness grow mayor bloomberg increasingly paid landlords for shelter. >> the folks who own this building are really making lots of money from these people and so. >> reporter: her landlord is a prominent real estate family called the padalstia sn own about 40 cluster shelter, since 2010 the city has paid them over $90 million to house homeless families, four of their shelters are in keisha's neighborhood. >> this is pretty typical, door wide open, broken into and broken mailboxes. [knocking] my building is own by the same people who own this building and we are trying to improve the conditions in the building that he owns. this guy thinks that because the families are homeless they have no power and just because a family is in crisis doesn't mean
8:52 am
you should be making millions of dollars off of me. >> the cost of living has sky rocketed do you know what i mean and i have to pay utilities and i have two kids and i have to get to work and i have to buy food. do you know how much the city pays for that? >> our budget letter shows that which is basically like what they pay for our rent, pretty much like the break down. >> the money that is used and public assistance is paying for us to stay here that can be given to find better places to live. >> i'm sure you know how much the city is paying to house families in crisis. >> yeah. >> reporter: this is ryan and ten months ago she and her family applied for shelter, the city moved them into this apartment. >> so what is this? >> the budget letter. >> reporter: every month she receive as budget letter from the city. is this how much money the city is paying your landlord? >> for this apartment.
8:53 am
>> yes. >> $2700. >> 27, 3750 and that is a lot of money, do you think the apartment is worth it? >> no way. 115 open code violations. that is an average of five violations per unit. she says she has asked for repairs but she is still waitin waiting. >> the windows ain't fixed. the light don't come on. the socket in the kitchen is not even coming on. >> right now about a quarter of all homeless families with children each night are sleeping in these cluster site shelters essentially and sleeping in an apartment and we the taxpayers are paying a ridiculous amount of money for that. what would you do if the city gave you that much money? >> get a better apartment. if they are paying 27 for me to stay here then they might as well pay 27 for me to get my own apartment. >> you any other tenants in the building are paying $2700?
8:54 am
>> no. >> how much do you think they are paying? >> less than that and i don't think 27. i want folks to understand if it wasn't for this program that because this apartment is rent stabilized you could possibly just afford to be living here. >> wait a minute, paying tenants in the building the average rent is $900. >> right. >> and the city is paying up to $3,000? >> yes. >> for the same apartments? >> yes. >> it seems so ridiculous that you would remove affordable housing stock from working families to house people in crisis and then turn a profit. why are people looking for a shelter elsewhere when they are already in a dwelling that is rent stabilized, it doesn't make any sense to me. >> when mayor deblasio was elected he promised to phaseout cluster sites but in the last year his administration has actually added 225 cluster
8:55 am
units. >> we are facing high numbers and we have to ensure that everyone is safely placed. >> she is a deputy commissioner of new york's department of homeless services, it's the agency that over sea sees the city shelters. tell me about the cluster site shelters and it seems like the city is paying private landlords quite a bit of money. >> i disagree with that and we worked the last year and a half since the administration first came into office to reduce our reliance on clusters. >> last year the city actually increased the number of cluster units by 8%. >> we reduced our reliance on it. >> what do you mean by that? >> focusing on purpose built shelters that have more robust services for families with children. >> a lot of families we have spoken to and seen the letters and the landlord is getting paid $2700 and there are people in the building paying rents of
8:56 am
$900-$1,000. >> the letters include social services and after care components so it's not something we a paying the landlord that amount of money. that is something that is out there that is not true. >> how much off that $3,000 or whatever the amount is ends up going to the lard -- landlord? >> there is a formula and i don't want to discuss that. >> there are five violations for unit and what is dhs doing about buildings that do have open code violations. >> we work with sister agencies and providers to make sure they get fixed. >> the families were concerned. >> moving on. >> this last question. >> we are moving on. >> they created a situation where they can't sort of back out of this program. they need it because they need to have housing for homeless people but they have privatized it so once you do that you know
8:57 am
you have made a deal with the devil now. >> we don't need any more buildings turning into shelters. we need housing. >> reporter: it's been two months since we met ms. little and still living in a shelter and looking for an apartment she can afford. >> you have to come up with your own scenarios. >> yes. >> as far as how you're going to get yourself out of this situation because you really don't have much support. i really don't think they put much effort into understanding what this crisis is. i think that they are throwing money at it, that is where all the shelters are coming up, from because they are constantly throwing money at things but they are really not getting into what the problem is and dealing with the issue. >> you can keep finding places to warehouse bodies and it doesn't end the problem, it doesn't work towards a solution
8:58 am
that might end the problem. >> reporter: in 2014 the overall number of families in shelter rose by 13%. >> money is being made. it is just like the homeless population might as well be traded on the stock market. how much of the homeless is it worth and what we know about in this city and this country is something is really costing you money, you do something about it. ♪ else's. >> chicago mothers, fed up and fighting back. >> what we've essentially done is created an outdoor community center. >> changing the city one block at a time. >> i'm out here to encourage them, to tell them there's a better way. >> i think we're into something that's bigger than us
8:59 am
>> that's the pain your mother feels when you disrespect her son... >> me being here is defying all odds >> they were patriots, they wanted their country back >> al jazeera america presents the passion.. >> onward! pain... >> it's too much though... >> and triumph... >> inspirational real life stories... >> all these labels the world throws at you, that's what drives me to push... >> of ordinary people >> i tasted the american dream. i liked it... >> living extraordinary lives... >> if we could multiply this program, we could change the world... >> from the best filmmakers of our time, >> i give al jazeera tremendous credit, because it's not traditionally what broadcast journalism does... >> the new home for original documentaries al jazeera america presents only on al jazeera america
9:00 am
this is al jazeera. ♪. >> hello. we can to the newshour. i am jane dutton in doha. coming up in the program: >> oh, my. >> jailed again, a court in egypt sentences al jazeera journalists to three years. the verdict is condemned by legal experts and governments across the world. >> police in thailand arrest a suspect and sees bomb-making materials in connection with this month's attack on a


info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on