Mayor de Blasio and metropolis homelessness Commissioner Steven Banks (Michael Appleton/Mayor’s Workplace)
The Division of Homeless Providers is quietly finalizing greater than $ninety eight million in contracts that may flip 5 condo buildings presently a part of the notoriously mismanaged cluster website program into homeless shelters, and keep six extra as cluster websites for at the very least the subsequent three years.
These privately-owned buildings, situated in Brooklyn and the Bronx, have greater than 300 flats between them and are both partially or totally occupied by homeless households. Quite than convert them to low-rental housing and supply residents with tenant protections, as Mayor Invoice de Blasio pledged final January, DHS is planning to take care of them as household shelters (a tactic referenced within the mayor’s February homelessness recreation plan). Advocates say it will reward negligent landlords who already profit from the cluster program’s giant payouts and lax oversight.
“The town is rewarding harassing conduct,” stated Scott Hutchins, a member of Image the Homeless who has been homeless himself since 2012.
There are presently 449 open violations throughout the eleven buildings, in line with the town’s shelter restore scorecard for July, seventy five of that are instantly hazardous. A current report from the Division of Investigation discovered the Giuliani-period cluster program to be the worst maintained within the shelter system. But the town has paid as a lot as $three,000 per thirty days to deal with a single household in a cluster website condo. When de Blasio introduced his part-out final January, the Metropolis stated it was spending $one hundred twenty five million a yr on this system.
The eleven new contracts have been mentioned at a thirty-minute contract listening to on Reade Road Tuesday morning, presided over by one DHS consultant. They’re one indicator of how the town might part out cluster websites, which has been an open query for months.
Advocates with Image The Homeless warn that landlords are motivated to vacate lease stabilized models in buildings that take part within the cluster website program with a purpose to maximize income. Proof of this type of harassment has been nicely documented.
For instance, one of many buildings slated for shelter conversion is 1838 Vyse Avenue within the Bronx, which is owned by David Inexperienced, certainly one of thirteen cluster website landlords on the Public Advocate’s Worst Landlord record. Gothamist has documented the circumstances there, which deteriorated markedly within the early aughts. Tenants say…