De Blasio Administration Months Late in Creating Scorecards for Hundreds of Homeless Shelters
Almost eight months ago, Mayor Bill de Blasio said he would be sending out squads of city workers to make rapid repairs on homeless shelters and promised to disclose all of that work publicly, giving every city shelter a scorecard. But NY1's Courtney Gross found out that's not yet happening. She filed the following exclusive report.
New kitchen cabinets for a homeless family are part of the work that's getting done at a homeless shelter in Brownsville.
"I would say the kitchens were in need of replacement, and after, they should be fine for at least 15 years," said one worker.
It's work that comes after months of criticism that conditions at city shelters were deteriorating. In some cases, safety violations were piling up.
The administration's initial response was last May. It was here that the mayor promised to send repair teams into city shelters and give every single city shelter a scorecard so the public could keep tabs on all the work that was getting done.
"There will be an accountability system," Mayor Bill de Blasio said at the time. "It will be a public system maintained by the Department of Homeless Services. There will be a public tracking system so you and members of the public can identify where we stand with each of the facilities. There will be a scorecard made available publicly. That will be up later this month."
Eight months later, almost none of those scorecards are in. Only 23 shelters are rated when the promise encompasses nearly 700.
A previous version of the Department of Homeless Services website promised reports "by September," but that never happened. Now, the website says "by November."
Still, the scorecards aren't there.
The tardiness comes even as criticism of shelter conditions has increased, particularly from de Blasio's chief political rival, Governor Andrew Cuomo.
"We can't have people staying on the streets because the streets are better than the shelters," Cuomo said Monday.
On Wednesday, the mayor announced he would be revamping the shelter repair squads to make them more effective.
"We are doubling down on that effort. We are, in effect, announcing shelter repair squad 2.0," de Blasio said.
He did not mention the scorecards.
The adminstration is in the process of a 90-day review examining how it is addressing homelessness. This review includes a look at shelter conditions.
An administration official told NY1 that City Hall is still committed to the scorecards, but for now, it is unclear when those grades will be posted.