Cluster sites are privately-owned apartment buildings that are used to shelter homeless New York City families. Landlords of these buildings receive an arguably exorbitant amount of money from the City to house homeless families. However, despite this reported influx of cash, cluster sites have become notorious for their squalid and dangerous conditions. Presumably, the notorious condition of cluster sites is the catalyst for their phase-out.
According to NYC’s Social Indicators Report of April 2016: “In January 2016, the Mayor announced a three-year plan to phase out the use of “cluster sites” to house homeless families. For the past 16 years, the City has been placing families in these apartments in privately owned buildings across the City. A review ordered by the Mayor found that cluster sites represent the worst combination of high cost, disrepair, and poor access to the services homeless families need.
The City intends to replace the shelter capacity of these units with new housing models and, if needed, additional temporary shelter with appropriate social services.
The approximately 3,000 cluster site units that currently exist will either be converted back to low-rent permanent housing – after working with the landlords on needed repairs – or alternative shelter arrangements will be provided to residents by December 31, 2018.”