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Queens Chronicle

Homeless population removed from inn: pol

The spot at 59-40 55 Road was a controversial site when announced

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Posted: Thursday, August 8, 2019 10:30 am | Updated: 12:11 pm, Thu Aug 15, 2019.

Councilman Bob Holden (D-Middle Village) said late Friday that the working homeless population housed at the Holiday Inn Express in Maspeth has officially been removed, citing a conversation with Department of Homeless Services Steven Banks.

Mayor de Blasio is phasing out hotels as shelters while looking to build 90 shelters across the city by 2023.

“I will continue to work with local faith-based organizations to come up with a solution for housing our neighbors who have fallen on hard times,” Holden said. “Smaller, more personal settings are the most effective way for us to take care of our own, as the mayor has requested.”

In May, the New York Supreme Court ruled in favor of the hotel’s property owner, KCM Realty Company, which filed a lawsuit claiming that operator of the hotel, New Ram Realty, had an arrangement with the DHS and the Acacia Network to temporarily house working homeless people in the hotel violating the terms of their lease. And New Ram’s agreement with the city violated the zoning code by allowing individuals to stay in the hotel for more than 30 days at a time.

The city’s proposal to convert the spot at 59-40 55 Road was met with heavy pushback from the community when it was announced in 2016.

In an email, a DHS spokesperson stated, “As we’ve said, we remain committed to ending the use of decades-old stop-gap measures that don’t deliver the quality of services our clients deserve — and we remain focused on continuing to site new high-quality facilities in communities across all five boroughs, so that New Yorkers who fall on hard times have the opportunity to get back on their feet closer to the communities they called home.”

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