June 16, 2016
May Scorecard shows 27 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 27 percent over the last month, as reported in the May Shelter Repair Scorecard. Since the end of January 2016, open violations in non-cluster shelters are down 69 percent.
“I am pleased to announce that we continue to make significant progress in eliminating building violations and improving conditions for shelter residents. Even as our thorough inspections uncover additional issues, we’ve been able to fix them along with outstanding violations, bringing the overall total down substantially,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio. “All New Yorkers deserve to live in a clean, safe environment, and we are determined to use our City resources effectively to provide that for this vulnerable population.”
“The consistent progress we have made in the last few months demonstrates that City agencies working in partnership can truly make a difference in the quality of life of New Yorkers living in shelters,” said Department of Social Services Commissioner Steven Banks. “We realize that much work remains to be done but as we prepare to tackle more complex capital repairs that will require additional time and resources to complete, we reiterate our commitment to enhance conditions in all City shelters.”
“The continued success of the Shelter Repair Squad demonstrates the type of interagency collaboration necessary for making homeless shelters safer and healthier for New Yorkers in need. We are committed to the ongoing tracking of City and provider repair efforts in the future,” said Mayor's Office of Operations Director Mindy Tarlow.
“The Shelter Repair Squad is a collaborative effort across a number of agencies that continues to make notable strides toward significant change in the quality and maintenance of homeless shelters,” said Housing Preservation and Development Commissioner Vicki Been. “We are prepared to address any and all infractions we may discover so that all New Yorkers have the opportunity to live in a safe and secure home.”
The Shelter Repair Scorecard lists 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. An analysis of the remaining open non-cluster violations indicates that more than 80 percent will require significant repairs or capital work, which will take substantially longer to complete.
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.
“Homeless Services United is encouraged by the findings in this report and appreciates that progress that has been made in upgrading conditions in the shelters our members operate,” said HSU Interim Executive Director Joan Montbach. “HSU has long sought to ensure that homeless residents – along with our shelter staff – live and work in facilities that are secure, safe and stable. By working in close partnership with the city to identify and cure building violations, we are now closer to achieving that goal.”