BREAKING: COMPTROLLER REJECTS 95TH STREET HOMELESS SHELTER CONTRACT

Comptroller John Liu rejected a contract between the city and the Aguila corporation for a controversial homeless shelter on West 95th street, Liu’s office just told us. It’s a very big win for opponents of the shelter. Aguila and the Bloomberg administration can still reapply.

The comptroller’s full statement is below:

LIU REJECTS AGUILA SHELTER CONTRACTS
Criticizes Mayor Bloomberg’s Failed Homeless Policies

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NEW YORK, N.Y. – Comptroller John C. Liu today rejected contracts by the Department of Homeless Services (DHS) engaging Aguila Inc. to operate shelters in the South Bronx and West 95th Street in Manhattan, citing problems with the City’s Fair Share analysis concerning the siting of shelters by neighborhood.

Liu said the DHS needs to clarify both the number of individuals who will be provided services and the length of those services. Given material inconsistencies, there was no choice but to reject, he said.

“Transparency is paramount when siting homeless shelters, and these contracts failed the test on many counts. Contracts need to be clear and specific, to ensure that the DHS requires the vendor to stay within the parameters of the program,” Comptroller Liu said. “Overall, the Administration’s homeless policies have failed both the homeless and communities asked to accept shelters, and it would be unconscionable to compound past errors with these faulty contracts.”

The contracts are in the amount of $46.8 million for 316-330 West 95th Street and $20.8 million for 1625-1631 Fulton Avenue in The Bronx. For the Upper West Side location, the Fair Share analysis indicates the shelter has 200 units which can accommodate up to 400 adults – which raises the question of whether DHS can comply with local laws governing total occupancy. Further, the Comptroller’s office is seeking additional documentation regarding inspections and correct certificates of occupancy. For the South Bronx location, there were also apparent discrepancies in the Fair Share analysis, again making it unclear whether the contract complies with local law.

Background:

Liu: Bloomberg’s Shelter Policies Failing Communities and Homeless (Report):

http://www.comptroller.nyc.gov/press/2013_releases/pr13-05-071.shtm

Liu proposes vouchers to help homeless families:
http://www.comptroller.nyc.gov/press/pdfs/20130509_NYC_RentalSubsidyProgram_v12.pdf

For our coverage of homeless shelters, click here.

NEWS | 10 comments | permalink
    1. Andrew says:

      Thanks for the update! So what happens now? Are the homeless residents moved to other shelters? Is the building for sale? Going to be used for other uses? Is this just a technicality that we are still going to get screwed and overburdened with another shelter in the end of the day if they structure the contract differently?

    2. Ken says:

      Am I missing something or are there perhaps more cost effective ways to help those who need homelessness assistance than paying someone $47,000,000 of taxpayers’ money to put them up in privately owned building that no one would choose or pay to live in voluntarily. Do these unfortunate folks real need to be housed in Manhattan in one of the most expensive neighborhoods in the world? Wouldn’t they be better off living someplace where a small bottle of water doesn’t cost $2.39 at Duane Reade? Just saying.

    3. Ellen says:

      It’s good news, but the fight it not over. Liu spelled out why he rejected the contract, the operator can now ammend the proposal and re-submit. Sadly, this shelter can KEEP OPERATING until DHS refuses to pay them. DHS is currently paying them, with taxpayer dollars, without a signed contract, which is absurd. This is not over until that shelter is ordered to shut down, period.

    4. J. Amory says:

      Well, Liu has my vote.

    5. Now what? says:

      I’d say these homeless can now just camp out on the benches lining CPW, unfortunately all those benches are already completely packed with existing homeless people. Now what?

      • Tom says:

        Or the city can take the $3,000 a month, place them in a nice studio apt throught the city WITH private bath and kitchen AND save a few hundred a month in the process. Is that so hard??

    6. KT says:

      I am voting for LIU!!!

    7. jerry says:

      Good for Liu!

    8. Peter Rodriguez says:

      Finally have a candidate I can support!

    9. ES says:

      As predicted, Aguila has re-submitted it’s contract application. Comptroller has it on his desk yet again.