NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Five down, 85 to go.
Five of 90 new homeless shelters have been built 90 days into the city’s program that’s aimed at ending cluster site housing.
In February, Mayor Bill de Blasio said the city plans to eliminate the use of cluster apartments by the end of 2021 and hotels by the end of 2023. The sites will be replaced with the 90 new homeless shelters that will be built across the five boroughs. The city also plans to expand 30 existing shelters.
Councilman Richie Torres has two of these new shelters in his central Bronx district.
“It’s better to have a shelter with onsite social services, with onsite security than to have a cluster site that is run by a slumlord.” Torres said adding that “there are elected officials who instead of choosing to be part of the solution have created or contributed to the mass hysteria around shelter sites.”
One of the new shelters opened in Crown Heights, Brooklyn this week only after a judge tossed a lawsuit filed by neighbors.
“As a result of getting out of 842 units, 3,000 New Yorkers are no longer housed in cluster units,” Social Services Commissioner Steven Banks said. “Five shelters in 90 days, 842 clusters closed in just over a year.”
Banks said cluster housing never worked, isolating the homeless away from family, friends and services.