A homeless shelter is to be created on one of New York City’s most expensive streets, after a legal battle to stop its opening ended in defeat.
A New York state appeals court on Thursday rejected the concerns voiced by an alliance of residents and businesses from the Manhattan neighbourhood by Central Park, nicknamed Billionaire’s Row.
Billionaire’s Row isn’t one street or officially defined.
Real estate agents describe it as an area south of Central Park, between 57th Street and 59th Street from north to south, and extending from 8th Avenue in the west for eight blocks east to 2nd Avenue. Trump Tower is just to the south.
Bill de Blasio, mayor of New York, started an initiative called Turning the Tide, which aimed to create 90 homeless shelters across the city.
One of the chosen sites was the Park Savoy Hotel, which closed permanently in 2018.
Bill de Blasio planned to house 140 men in the hotel’s 70 suites, yet the objections were immediate.
A group calling themselves The West 58th Street Coalition sued the city in 2018, describing the building as essentially unsuitable for a homeless shelter and maintaining it as a fire risk.
The coalition wrote on a Change.org petition against it that the plan was never shared with anyone in their neighbourhood, and their input was not solicited, and they said that while they realised there was a need to shelter the city’s displaced, they believed that the Mayor’s Turning the Tide plan was very flawed.
They described de Blasio’s plan as an expensive band-aid, that didn’t come close to addressing the deficit of affordable housing.
It was said that it would cost $63 million over nine years, or $50,000 per person, and argued that the funds would be better employed on alternatives, and they argued that putting large groups of men together in shelter situations would create opportunities for conflict and crime, as opposed to an opportunity for men to have a home of their own with solitude and pride.
The lawsuit says that the shelter’s building features just one pathway to enter and exit, according to the coalition’s lawsuit, which means that in the event of a fire emergency, both first responders and residents evacuating the building would be forced to use the same staircase.
Since 1968, the city’s building code has mandated that buildings have at least two ways to enter and exit.
The city has said that compliance with prevailing codes wasn’t needed because of a grandfather clause in the city’s building regulations that would apply to the former Park Savoy Hotel.
A judge rejected the lawsuit in April 2019, noting that the issuance of a temporary certificate of occupancy meant the city’s Department of Buildings determines the building complied with local laws.
Such a large amount of cash is being used in the wrong place to help the displaced of NYC, and it’s a death trap as well with only one entry and exit point in the event of a fire, and the Department of Homeless Services needs to make sure that money that’s been proposed to be used on this location is better utilized to assist those in need, and perhaps it’s time for them to reconsider their plans and do so much better.
And they’re blaming the homeless, but NYC has transformed into a hell hole even before this came about.
Shelters are a hoax. They’re dangerous and they don’t solve anything. Instead, build housing for these people, or just make shared housing for destitute people that have nowhere to go because these shelters boot people out in the morning.
Then what? They beg all day long. Perhaps this mayor and all officials should spend 72 hours with someone that’s in a shelter, then they might finally do something.