Tuesday, October 18, 2011
From house to homeless shelter
From the Daily News:
Almost two dozen people, including formerly homeless men, are scrambling to find places to live after the city shuttered a transitional housing center in St. Albans on Friday.
The facility, operated by Genesis Transitional Housing Ministries, was a virtual firetrap with no sprinkler system, Buildings Department officials said in explaining the reason behind the vacate order.
Buildings Department inspectors have visited before, [Minister Andre] Broady said, but never informed him of any serious violations.
Firefighters responded to the scene on Thursday after a fire alarm was tripped, Broady said. The Fire Department then contacted the Buildings Department.
"This site was illegally converted from a two-story, two-family house to a transient hotel/halfway house with inadequate fire protections, such as no secondary [exit] and no sprinkler system," Buildings Department spokeswoman Jennifer Gilbert said in a statement.
Agency officials could not say why the inspectors who previously visited the site did not cite the conditions. Gilbert pointed out that "it's not uncommon for illegal conditions to be constructed in a matter of hours."