Elected Officials Advocate on Proposed Carroll Gardens Shelter
Many constituents have contacted my office this about the news that Housing Solutions USA (a social services organization) intends to open a 170-bed homeless shelter at 165 West 9th Street, between Court Street & Hamilton Avenue, in Carroll Gardens, in partnership with the NYC Department of Homeless Services (DHS).
As a lifelong housing advocate, I believe strongly in the right to shelter. I also know that every neighborhood - including Carroll Gardens - has a role to play in housing our homeless neighbors. But I have real concerns about this proposal.
Last Tuesday, I joined with Borough President Marty Markowitz, State Senator Daniel Squadron, and Assemblywoman Joan Millman to send a joint letter (see below for a copy) to DHS to demand that the Department of Homeless Services provide written responses, by the close of business last Friday, October 19th, to our numerous questions about this proposal – primarily how the City intends to squeeze 170 people into a 10-unit building, with no plans provided for social services or security, and disregard for City rules and processes. You can find the letter we received from DHS this afternoon below.
My colleagues and I found this letter to be inadequate and unresponsive to our questions and the community’s 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 City’s 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).
The DHS response to the community’s appropriate and reasonable concerns has been woefully inadequate, raising serious questions about the siting and operation of this proposed shelter, as well as other shelters across New York City. I and other elected officials have therefore been forced to strongly oppose the proposal.
Elected Officials Statement at CB 6 Hearing, October 25, 2012
Department of Homeless Services Response to Elected Officials' Letter, October 23, 2012
Elected Officials' Letter, October 16, 2012