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New Audit Calls Out Homeless Shelter Operator

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One of the largest operators of city homeless shelters is once again taking heat from City Comptroller John Liu.

Aguila Inc., which is run by former homeless services commissioner Robert Hess, operates 21 shelters in the city.

It's currently planning to open a men’s shelter in a Carroll Gardens building.

But the plan has drawn community opposition.

In a new audit, Liu cites the firm for improper expenditures and for hazardous and unsanitary conditions.

In a statement, Liu said, "Despite their claims to the contrary, Aguila’s appalling record has not improved and the Department of Homeless Services continues to turn a blind eye. At this point, DHS should just dump Aguila as a shelter operator."

Liu has previously sought to block city contracts to Aguila for the operation of shelters in the south Bronx and the Upper West Side.

In its response to Liu’s audit, the Department of Homeless Services noted it had recouped more than half a million dollars from Aguila following a previous audit.

City Hall went on to say, "The City's Department of Homeless Services provides shelter, critical support and job placement services for members of the New York City community who most need them. The City is, unfortunately, unable to comment on the specifics of the Aguila contracts since, as the Comptroller knows, we are suing him but we would caution anyone against placing confidence in this Comptroller when it comes to questions of numbers."

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