De Blasio Administration Makes Good on Commitment to Release Scorecard for Every City Homeless Shelter
After making the commitment early last year, the de Blasio administration released a scorecard for every city homeless shelter Monday, detailing the building violations each one has. NY1's Courtney Gross filed the following report.
In January, Mayor Bill de Blasio issued an ominous warning to his administration.
"In 2016, the people who are part of my administration will feel the lash because if we make a commitment, we are keeping it," he said.
The warning got the city's Department of Homeless Services to act. On Monday, after months of delay, the city released its long-awaited shelter scorecard, a long list of building violations at every city homeless shelter, one that includes 643 buildings.
"The mayor ordered a review of all of the city's homeless policies in December, and as part of that review, we've taken the steps that were needed to put up the scorecard," said Steven Banks, commissioner of the city's Human Resources Administration.
The scorecards were supposed to be released last summer. NY1 reported in January that they were months behind schedule, sparking a commitment from the administration to get it done.
So what do the cards say?
"You'll see problems with vermin, problems with flooring that need to be repaired," Banks said.
As of the end of November, there were 21,401 open violations. Seventy percent of the violations are in cluster site shelters, essentially landlord-operated buildings that have been riddled with problems. For instance, one shelter in Brooklyn has 253 open violations. Another shelter had 209 open violations.
These cluster sites are considered so bad the mayor has committed to stop using them entirely in three years.
There are other shelters run by nonprofit groups with similar numbers. Take one on the Upper West Side called Regent Family Residence. It had 191 open violations at the end of November.
You talk to the families or individuals staying in shelters across the city, and they will all tell you the conditions of shelters vary widely.
"Overall, I won't lie. This is one of the better shelters in the system," said a person at one shelter.
"Since I've been there, they are fixing it lately," said another
Despite the delay in releasing these score cards the administration is now committed to updating them every thirty days.