Emails show de Blasio officials put PR over homelessness

The de Blasio administration put public relations before policy in dealing with the homeless crisis — and a senior city official said so, according to emails obtained by The Post through a court ruling.

The exchanges show that mayoral aides scrambled to come up with a strategy following a surge in street homeless in August 2015, just weeks after Mayor Bill de Blasio had dismissed reports in The Post that homelessness was increasing.

One idea was for de Blasio to oversee an “encampment sweep” of a dozen homeless people in the South Bronx to show the administration was taking a get-tough approach.

But then-Deputy Mayor Tony Shorris shot down that idea as a stunt.

“If we are planning an event to tell the world about some new tools we have in place to help homeless folks, then I think it’s fine,” he wrote on Aug. 29, 2015.

“If what we are doing is ‘cracking down’ on groups of poor, mentally-ill people with nowhere else to go, then it’s not.”

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