Thursday, October 17, 2013

Among Bloomberg's Last Acts: Ram Through Carroll Gardens Homeless Prison To Reward Cronies

The Bloomberg administration is attempting to jam 170 homeless men into a ten unit, illegally built structure on West 9th Street in Carroll Gardens.  In exchange for cramming 170 men into conditions more crowded than a California prison, the brand new operator linked to the buildings corrupt developer would be paid $30 MILLION over five years - and even more thereafter.  This is even more money than the developer would have gotten for selling the illegally built units.  Even from an administration as riddled with hubris as Mike Bloomberg's, this is shocking behavior:
A public hearing on the proposed contract long-term contract to Aguila, Inc. to operate a shelter at 165-167 West 9th Street will be held on Thursday, October 17, at 49 Chambers Street at 10 a.m.
Craig R. Hammerman, District Manager of CB6, said via email that the community board received a letter on Friday, October 11 from the Department of Homeless Services informing them that the agency proposed, via a letter to Mayor Bloomberg, to award the controversial contract to Aguila.
Daniel M. Kummer, Chairperson of Community Board 6, immediately fired off a letter to Department of Homeless Services Commissioner Michele Ovesey, calling the shelter proposal “wholly inappropriate.” He also expressed amazement that Mayor Bloomberg was never informed that CB6’s board had resolved by a vote of 31 to 1 (with 3 abstentions) to oppose the use of the site “based on both defective process and lack of merit.”
“Notably, none of the concerns we raised at that time appear to have been addressed in your October 10 letter to the Mayor in any meaningful way,” Kummer wrote to Ovesey.
The city says it faces “unprecedented” demand for homeless shelters, and the proposed shelter –- in a building originally designed as a 10-unit luxury condo -- is compatible with the surrounding area.
But Victoria Malkin, organizer of the petition on, writes, “What does it say when you take the biggest building in a neighborhood, turn it into a shelter for 170 people with no community input under an emergency dictate, give it to an organization ‘Homeless Solutions’ that is just over one year old to manage, where the owner of the building is on the board and the organization is run by the former DHS Housing commissioner. Whose interests do they have at heart?”
The kicker?
Housing Solutions USA/Aguila Inc. is headed by former Bloomberg official Robert Hess.
Councilmember Brad Lander, Assemblywoman Joan Millman, Senator Velmanette Montgomery and Community Board 6 (of which I'm a member) all vehemently opposed this corrupt disgrace.  This city has "unprecedented demand for homeless shelters" due to the disastrous policies of Mike Bloomberg.  Amazing that his very cronies now stand to profit from it.

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