Mayor de Blasio personally banned the opening of new shelters in 2014 because of community backlash — and instead told officials to put homeless families in less secure hotels like the one where a mom and two kids were slaughtered Wednesday on Staten Island, The Post has learned.
De Blasio issued the edict during a meeting with Deputy Mayor for Health and Human Services Lilliam Barrios-Paoli and Department of Homeless Services Commissioner Gilbert Taylor — both of whom later resigned amid the growing homeless crisis, a DHS official said.
“They started pushing us to put clients in commercial hotels because they didn’t want to notify the people in the communities,” the DHS source said.
“When you open up a shelter, you have to notify the community, City Council members, officials, and people get upset. [De Blasio] had opened a lot of shelters that fall and was afraid of opening more. So he started opening up these hotels.”
De Blasio sent senior policy adviser Lincoln Restler to work with DHS on the hotel program, but Restler ignored senior staffers’ fears that the hotels could endanger homeless residents, the DHS source said.
“These commercial hotels don’t have adequate security, and [city officials] know that,” the source explained. “Regular shelters do. [Many] have full-body metal detectors. A boyfriend can’t just walk in and go to his girlfriend’s room if he doesn’t live there.”