Neighborhood in the Nineties, a nonprofit organization representing residents, building owners and local businesses in the West 90’s, has filed suit in state Supreme Court against the city and Aguila Inc. over the homeless shelter on West 95th street near Riverside Drive.
Comptroller John Liu rejected the city’s $46.8 million contract with Aguila earlier this month, but the city resubmitted it a few days later. Neighborhood in the Nineties says the contract should be rejected again and the shelter needs to be shut down.
The group claims that the city violated the “fair share” doctrine that says that the city shouldn’t concentrate too many facilities like homeless shelters in one neighborhood — every area should accept its fair share of social service agencies.
The group also claims that the shelter violates a code limiting the capacity of a shelter to 200 people.
A statement put out by Neighborhood in the Nineties’ lawyer Stewart Wurtzel said:
“Notwithstanding the Comptroller’s proper rejection of the Freedom House shelter at 316-330 West 95th Street, Manhattan contracts on July 3, 2013, the Department of Homeless Services and Aguila, Inc., without addressing any of the legitimate concerns raised by the Comptroller, resubmitted the same defective contract for registration with the Comptroller. As a result, Neighborhood In The Nineties, Inc. has commenced action today in the Supreme Court New York County for a determination that the shelter, as proposed, violates numerous provisions of the New York City Charter and administrative code.
The lawsuit brought by Neighborhood In The Nineties alleges that the City has violated its Fair Share obligations as specified in the City Charter and has proposed a shelter which exceeds the legal limits set forth in the City Administrative Code. Further, the lawsuit alleges that the manner in which the Shelter has operated constitutes a nuisance.
Neighborhood In The Nineties is seeking an injunction preventing the contract from being registered and enjoining the operation of the Shelter as being violative of City laws.”
DHS and Aguila have not responded to our requests for comment. The legal document is posted below (click in the corner to enlarge it to full-screen).