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."


Anonymous said...

Crappy .... please don't shut down this blog!
It's just about the only place to get some legitimate news about Queens on the web, free from hacks and tweeders.
Thanks for keeping it real!

Anonymous said...

My house has no sprinkler system. Is it a "virtual firetrap" too?

Anonymous said...

Interesting developments in western Queens:

1. the towers are filled with rentals, not co-op purchases.

2. the attire of many of the tenants do not seem in tune with someone who can pay $2500 for a one bedroom - are the units that are being purchased by speculators and are subleased to tenants that are starting to slide down the socio-economic scale?

3. lot of the money going into LIC RE is Asian money looking for a quick return.

4. the hotels in Dutch Kills are going to be facing freshening in a few years and the owners are starting to talk about converting them into rentals.

5. the rooms are small in LIC, Dutch Kills, and the Pistilli projects - not luxury space, but perfect for dorms.

6. speaking of dorms, hugh 'dorms' are being constructed on Northern Blvd - in the middle of nowhere.

The bottom line: les banlieues?

Anonymous said...

My house has no sprinkler system. Is it a "virtual firetrap" too?

By code? Yes, if the house was just built, or you have 20 people living in it.

R313.1 General. Effective January 1, 2011, an approved automatic fire sprinkler system shall be installed in new oneand two-family dwellings and townhouses in accordance with NFPA 13D

Anonymous said...

Nobody builds a new 1 or 2 family home anymore, it's all 3 or 4 family homes....cost $350,000+ to build, but
appraised at around $900,000.

Anonymous said...

Jack Kemp at HUD showed that homelessness is primarily caused by deinstitutionalization, rent control and zoning.