Elected Officials Find Dept. Of Homeless Services' Response to Questions Regarding Proposed Shelter In Carroll Gardens "Inadequate And Unresponsive"
Last week, Councilmember Brad Lander, Borough President Marty Markowitz, State Senator Daniel Squadron, and Assemblywoman Joan Millman wrote a joint letter to Seth Diamond, Commissioner of NYC Department of Homeless Services, in regards to the proposed homeless shelter at 165 West 9th Street. In the letter, our elected officials cited the lack of public process, the tight space for 170 men in the 10-unit building as well as the absence of a plan to provide social services for them.
Yesterday afternoon, Markowitz, Lander, Squadron and Millman received a response from Commissioner Diamond.
In the letter, Diamond states that:
-use of the building for 170 single adults is compliant with Part 491 and all applicable code and occupancy requirements.
-recent complaints to NYC's Department of Buildings were found unwarranted after inspections.
-Housing Solutions USA/Aguila Inc,, the non-profit organization that will be managing the shelter will have a service rich team consisting of 47 staff members that "will coordinate services to identify clients' barriers to permanency, establish a service plan and assist residents in obtaining permanent housing as quickly as possible."
-the building will be secured 24/7 and security cameras will be installed.
-extensive background information about Aguila and the provider's officers will be conducted.
According to Councilman Lander, who posted Diamond's response on his website:
My colleagues and I find this letter to be inadequate and unresponsive to our questions and the communityâs appropriate and reasonable concerns. DHS failed to provide building plans, describe the construction work that is underway, or address the Certificate of Occupancy issues; failed to provide the service plan proposed by Housing Solutions USA; failed to provide sufficient information about the security program proposed by Housing Solutions USA; failed to address the use of the Cityâs emergency contracting rules to rush through this proposal without community input or good public process; and failed to address the potential conflicts-of-interests identified (concerns which have been amplified in the past week, as the result of additional information that has come to light, first in New York Times here, and then covered in detail by Capital New York here and here).Representatives of NYC Department of Homeless Services and Housing Solutions USA/Aguila Inc will be available at the community informational meeting tonight, October 24h, 6:30 PM in PS 58's auditorium.