Neighborhood In The Nineties Appeals Homeless Shelter Order
N90s and the legacy SRO tenants opposing The Alexander shelter placement at 306 West 94th Street have challenged the ruling in NYS State Supreme Court.
Our legal counsel, Stewart Wurtzel of Tane Waterman & Wurtzel P.C. filed an application that specifically raises the following issues for an appeal to the next highest level of court, the NYS Appellate Court.
1 – The Lower Court erred in determining that the building, which will house the shelter at issue, need not comply with the R1 occupancy group under the building code or Zoning use group 5 notwithstanding that the building is being occupied for transient, temporary purposes. **
2 -The Lower Court erred in finding that Administrative Code Section 21-312 (b) does not apply to the shelter and that allowing the shelter to be occupied by more than 200 individuals is in contravention of the statute.
3 – The Lower Court erred in finding that the City Respondents prepared a proper Fair Share Analysis.
4 – The Lower Court erred in failing to enjoin the operation of the shelter because of the hardships posed to and nuisances suffered by the appellant residents of the building.
Our appeal seeks the reversal or modification of the most recent ruling and specific measures, such as closing or limiting the size of the shelter and bringing it up to code, so that’s no longer a fire hazard to its occupants. The City itself has previously defined this as a non-fireproof building due to limited fire exits and means of egress.
**In a crackdown dating back nearly a decade, the City ruled that Single Room Occupancy hotels such as The Alexander could not have residents staying for 30 days or less. New York law defines a shelter as a facility with stays of 30 days or less.
If you see a problem with the shelter or its residents in the neighborhood, please drop a note to info@N90s.org.
The 95th Street Veterans’ Residence Report: A Royal Mess Becomes A Good Neighbor
Three years ago, the SRO building at 330 West 95th opened its doors as a residence for homeless veterans.
In an unusual arrangement, two prominent social service providers, Harlem United and Bailey House, were hired by the City’s newly formed Veterans’ Department and the Social Services Administration to jointly take on the challenge of creating a stable environment for the vets. Many of them were homeless because they fell through the social safety net due to war trauma, drugs, alcohol and mental illness.
Thus, the problems that faced Harlem United and Bailey House in creating a new program were daunting. Complicating this arrangement were the concerns of the SRO tenants who had lived in the building for decades but now faced potentially troubled neighbors.
Unlike some other City shelters, the veterans’ residence provides assistance with job programs, skills training, mental and physical health support, individual case management and group activities including marching together on Memorial Day, trips to sporting events and museums. Every vet must sign a contract to stay in the residence and is expected to accept personal responsibility and follow the rules.
Even more remarkable are the meetings of the Community Advisory Board, which are open forums for all stakeholders in the building and the neighborhood. At the most recent quarterly meeting, executives from Harlem United and Bailey House heard about problems with the city-hired security force. Veterans and tenants complained about lapses during late night and weekend shifts. Within three days of the meeting, these lapses were addressed! This should be an example for other City shelters that have security and other issues.
FDNY Responds to Two Local Fires
310 West 95th Street
A fire allegedly set by a homeless individual or couple in front of 310 West 95th Street brought a swift response from the Neighborhood In The Nineties’ Cambridge Security Patrol. Officer Robert Enrick quickly cleared the area around the sidewalk before anyone was hurt by the arsonist’s attempt to set sidewalk trash on fire. FDNY quickly put out the blaze on Wednesday, May 29th at 9:40 PM.
Fire On Riverside Drive
On Friday, May 31st, a late morning blaze in a 3rd floor apartment at 214 Riverside Drive had the FDNY quickly knocking down doors and breaking several windows. The sidewalk around the landmark building was cordoned off with police tape as Riverside Drive Service Road was strewn with broken glass. As a precaution, the co-op’s super was taken away by ambulance due to minor smoke exposure. The family in the apartment was unhurt and their cats were saved. The cause of the kitchen blaze was electrical, possibly from a coffee pot that shorted out.
Court Green-Lights 14-Story 212 West 93rd St. Development; 3 Stories Dedicated To Shaare Zedek
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Use the Dog Runs in Riverside Park? Take the survey, sent to us by Jane Burbank: