May 3, 2016
April Scorecard shows 23 percent decline in open violations at non-cluster shelters over the last month alone
NEW YORK––Mayor Bill de Blasio today announced that the Shelter Repair Squad and shelter providers have cut outstanding building code violations at non-cluster shelters by 23 percent over the last month, as reported in the April Shelter Repair Scorecard. Since the end of January 2016, open violations in non-cluster shelters are down 57 percent.
“Over the last four months, we’ve shown that a focused effort to find and fix building problems can make a huge difference. Even as we aggressively inspected and added thousands more violations, we managed to cut the total outstanding by more than half. We are going to keep working to ensure safe, clean conditions for shelter residents,” said Mayor de Blasio. “I want to thank the City employees and non-profit shelter providers and their staff who have been working tirelessly to find and fix building violations.”
“Many of the remaining building violations in non-cluster shelters require capital repairs, which take more time to complete. We have already begun working with non-profit providers to make plans to deal with those longstanding issues so we can make repairs as soon as possible,” said Department of Social Services Commissioner Steven Banks.
“With the posting of the monthly Shelter Repair Scorecard, we are dedicated to transparently tracking City and non-profit shelter provider efforts to improve shelter conditions for homeless New Yorkers. Through inter-agency collaboration, we continue to make homeless shelters safer and cleaner,” said Mayor's Office of Operations Director Mindy Tarlow.
“The continued progress made by the Shelter Repair Squad is a wonderful testament to this administration’s dedication to New Yorkers,” said HPD Commissioner Vicki Been. “On behalf of everyone at HPD, we are pleased to see these much-needed repairs are being made and that these buildings are being brought up to code so that residents have a safe place to live.”
Cluster shelters are groups of individual apartments in larger buildings, and the violation total includes all the violations in each building, not those solely relating to the cluster units. The administration has announced a plan to phase out the use of cluster shelters – where the majority of the violations are found. As the City ends the use of cluster shelters, returning them to the market so that the apartments can serve as low-rent housing, it will insist that building owners bring their buildings up to code and will work to ensure that they remain part of the City’s rent-regulated stock or enter an affordability program.
The Shelter Repair Scorecard list conditions at all homeless shelters in New York City that do not meet applicable regulations, and makes it possible to track progress in resolving them. Many of these violations are long-standing problems stemming from a lack of funding and some require capital repairs which take longer to make.
Council Member Stephen Levin, Chair of the Committee on General Welfare, said, “I applaud the ongoing efforts to improve the quality and safety of shelters for individuals and families in need, as it took concerted effort to make such significant progress in a short span of time. As we continue to improve our shelter system, it is essential that we focus on moving individuals and families out of cluster sites and into high-quality shelters and ultimately, permanent affordable housing.”
"The City's rapid-response Repair Squad cuts across multiple layers of government to improve living conditions for New Yorkers in shelter. And as today's scorecard confirms, this new effort spearheaded by Mayor de Blasio is already making a difference across the five boroughs,” said Christine C. Quinn, President and CEO of Win. "For the nearly 5,000 women and children who are Win clients, these repairs are helping ensure that they have a safe, clean and well-maintained place to stay while they rebuild their lives and fight to break the cycle of homelessness.”
“This data shows the result of the hard work on the part of the Mayor and his team led by Commissioner Banks. We at Samaritan Daytop Village are committed to improving the quality of our facilities for our clients. Our dedicated staff work hard each and every day to assist the thousands of families and individuals we serve to transition from shelter to permanent housing, and with these improvements yielding real results we are confident we can accomplish even more,” said Doug Apple, Executive Vice President of Samaritan Daytop Village.
BRC Executive Director Muzzy Rosenblatt said, “At BRC we take seriously our responsibility to provide the homeless men and women we serve with caring and effective services, in clean, safe and supportive environments. We have always set and maintained the highest standards, and fully support the efforts to hold poor performing shelter operators accountable. We are heartened by the news that as a result of this focus and these efforts that code violations in shelter system have decreased dramatically in the past few months, and we hope this trend continues, and that those who fail to fulfill their responsibility are replaced by shelter operators who can and will.”