Gov. Cuomo’s administration on Tuesday gave the city a week to clean up homeless shelters perenially plagued by code violations, including a Queens hotel that’s hosting a vermin colony.
In a letter obtained by the Daily News, Sharon Devine, acting commissioner of the state Office of Temporary & Disability Assistance, warned the city homeless services department it could be facing big fines.
Devine cited a city Department of Investigation probe that found multiple code violations at 24 shelters, plus a News report Tuesday about a rat colony behind the Pan Am Hotel in Elmhurst.
Noting that these conditions “are not isolated,” Devine also singled out the Pan Am Hotel report in the News:
“Published reports today highlight substandard living conditions existing at the Pan American hotel in Elmhurst Queens,” Devine wrote. “We have concluded an independent inspection of that facility and have confirmed several serious violations.”
Devine ordered DHS to fix the problems within seven days. If DHS fails to comply, the state could withhold payments, impose daily fines, ask a court to appoint a receiver or even close problem shelters.
In response, a DHS spokesperson faulted the state for not providing more money to address what has been a steadily growing homeless population in the city.
The Pan Am opened almost a year ago, so what is the excuse? Why does DHS need more money when they have contracts with providers who are supposed to be taking care of conditions at these sites? Please sign the petition I posted in the sidebar. Maybe we can get Stringer to give this slimy provider, Samaritan Village,s the boot.