Six new hotels sprouting up in the industrial portion of Sunset Park are just wolves in sheep’s clothing that will end up housing homeless people instead of tourists, claims a community activist who fears the surge in hotel construction in the neighborhood is a thinly veiled attempt to shoehorn more shelters into the area.
“These are not hotels. I don’t care what they say, they’re going to be used as shelters,” said Delvis Valdes, a director with activist group the Village of Sunset Park. “It’s no coincidence that Sunset Park is suddenly the hottest neighborhood to visit — it’s not. There aren’t enough tourists to fill these hotels so the homeless do.”
Sunset Park only has one official homeless shelter — a controversial home for single men on 49th Street between Second and Third avenues — but the city’s Department of Homeless Services is renting rooms in at least five new area inns without alerting locals, according to Community Board 7 district manager Jeremy Laufer. And this paper recently discovered that the city quietly converted all 77-rooms of a Comfort Inn on 38th Street near Fourth Avenue into a shelter.
Now developers aim to build at least six new inns in sections of Sunset Park and Green-Wood Heights and residents assume they too will be claimed by the city and transformed into shelters.
Meanwhile, City Limits has the Coalition for the Homeless acting like it's ok that NYC is burdened with LI and NJ homeless:
Just over 11 percent of the people who moved in to DHS shelters in the final six months of 2016 did so from out of state, according to the agency’s latest statistics.Guess what? If you're entering a NYC shelter from LI or NJ, then you're an "out-of-towner".
On the other hand, the Coalition’s website cites as a myth the view that “out-of-towners abusing the city’s right to shelter” caused the crisis. Many families categorized as non-City residents in fact lost housing on Long Island or in New Jersey and returned home to New York.
And finally, according to the RFP posted on the City Record, Staten Island will escape having to shelter the homeless in their hotels:
Under Master Contracts, during the commercial hotel phase out, DHS would pay vendor(s) to procure reservations at current commercial hotel in Brooklyn, Queens, Manhattan, and the Bronx, manage this emergency portfolio and address the need for emergency placements as such need may arise, and provide social services to residents at the facility and all costs associated with managing their portfolio(s).