NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — As the homeless shelter population rises, a new audit shows the city is sitting on undeveloped land that could help fix the problem.
“We are here today to say enough is enough,” said city Comptroller Scott Stringer.READ MORE: Police: Man Stabbed In Head With Machete After Argument At Walmart In Kearny, N.J.
With the city facing an affordable housing crisis, Stringer believes opportunities are being squandered. He stood in front of a vacant lot on 115th Street in Harlem.
“We could use these lots to build 100 percent permanently affordable housing,” Stringer told reporters, including WCBS 880’s Peter Haskell.READ MORE: Some Real Estate Agents Report Surge Of New Yorkers Moving From Manhattan To The Bronx
An audit two years ago showed 1,100 vacant city-owned lots. Since then, Stringer said virtually nothing has changed. He is blaming the Department of Housing Preservation and Development.
“We want to know everything,” Stringer said. “New Yorkers demand the right to know about the property they own.”MORE NEWS: Reopenings Continue On Broadway As 'Moulin Rouge! The Musical' Resumes Performances
HPD Commissioner Maria Torres-Springer said the department is aggressively developing the vacant sites. She adds that most of the lots are small and hard to develop.