Tuesday, April 28, 2015
Millions upon millions of tax dollars given to slumlords
From the Daily News:
In the past five years, the city has spent $241 million housing homeless families in hellholes rife with a catalog of code violations from vermin to lead paint, a Daily News investigation has found.
The money flowed to the operators of 24 fleabag hotels and rundown tenements that, despite being repeatedly cited by city inspectors, have become last-resort housing for thousands of desperate families.
All told, taxpayers have coughed up a stunning $1.7 billion to shelter a steadily rising tide of families since fiscal year 2010, records obtained under the Freedom of Information Law show.
Throughout that time, the city has consistently spent more on family shelters than it did on parks, libraries or senior programs.
During the last four years of the Bloomberg mayoralty and the first six months of Mayor de Blasio’s administration, the annual cost of family shelters rose 34%, peaking at $406.2 million in the last fiscal year.
As the number of homeless families seeking shelter rose from 37,000 in 2010 to top 60,000 in December, city inspectors kept citing many of the shelters for a long and horrific list of infractions.
Inspectors found dead rats and mice, bunk beds and cribs jammed up against windows leading to the fire escape, and numerous nonfunctioning smoke detectors. At one fleabag, staff claimed they weren’t allowed to turn on air conditioning without a doctor’s note.
The DOI found that the city Homeless Services Department routinely gave shelters with serious open code violations a “passing grade,” and in some cases did little to punish the nonprofits it pays to run these flophouses.
So, these places are run like hovels, but they are in the process of giving permanent contracts to the slumlords running them? Wouldn't it make more sense to ban them from providing services and finding new providers?
Check out what the Daily News found at the Pan Am.