Assemblyman Dinowitz and Council Member Cohen have expressed their opposition about a Department of Homeless Services plan to convert a recently constructed APT building on 5731 Broadway between W 234th and W 236th street into a homeless shelter for families.
The recently constructed building was billed by the STAGG group as market-rate housing. They even had a website where people could submit applications.
“I am outraged at the city’s plan to convert a brand new apartment building in Kingsbridge into a homeless shelter,” Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitzexplained. “The community was led to believe that 5731 Broadway was to contain market rate housing. Now, without the slightest consultation with the community board, members of the community, or my office, we find out that we were the victims of a classic bait and switch. Where will the children, possibly numbering in the hundreds, attend school? P.S. 7 as well as other schools in the area are overcrowded already. When did the STAGG group know that this site would be used as a homeless shelter? Recently? Or, did they know from day one even as they billed it as market rate housing. Furthermore, the Van Cortlandt Motel already contains homeless families. The community was lied to on more than one occasion with respect to the use of that site as a homeless shelter. Given the history of lies and deceit regarding both of these sites, as well as the severe impact this shelter could have in the Kingsbridge community I strongly oppose the use of 5731 Broadway as a homeless shelter and condemn the secretive and deceitful behavior of those involved in creating this debacle.”
“I am frustrated and angry that the Department of Homeless Services is obsessed with dumping another shelter on the Broadway corridor,” said Council Member Andrew Cohen. “We as a community have been trying to improve the business climate on the southern end of Broadway and strengthen the residential portion of the northern end—DHS seems committed to destroying that effort. This decision by DHS will have a particularly hard impact on already overcrowded P.S. 7. Until the Administration comes up with concrete measures to keep people in their homes before they become homeless, continuing to expand the number of shelters in our community will not solve the homeless crisis.”