NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – The head of homeless services says no one will pay the price after the city’s independent watchdog issued a scathing report about the homeless relocation program.
For the past year, CBS2 has shown family after family placed in homes with no heat, no hot water, and rodents in East Orange and Newark, N.J.
They were allegedly pressured to move out of New York City shelters with the city paying landlords a year of rent upfront.
A recent report from the Department of Investigation cited several cases where NYC Department of Homeless Services workers inspected unlivable apartments, but still certified they were safe and habitable on inspection forms.
“How many of these people at DHS were disciplined, and if so, in what way?” said Kramer.
“That isn’t actually what the report said,” replied Banks.
When asked about disciplinary action, Banks pointed out, “No one has been disciplined. The workers are being held to a standard we worked on with DOI going forward.”
“If they’re not disciplined, how does that send a message to people that are going to do it that ‘it’s not okay?'” said Kramer.
“Again, I think you’re misreading what the report said,” he said. “The report talked about what the overall procedures were that didn’t require the kind of inspections that we are now requiring.”
The report cites an apartment in an illegal attic with no heat where the “specialist… did not conduct a walkthrough… but rather remained in his car.”
Another place had 52 open violations, yet the specialist “documented the property passed each requirement.”
CBS2 spoke to DOI Commissioner Margaret Garnett who confirmed there is an investigation into the housing specialists and the program they work under.