267 Rogers Avenue: Brooklyn’s Newest Housing Shelter Battle

267 Rogers Avenue

In Crown Heights’ continuing battle to stop the influx of homeless shelters inundating their neighborhood, a group of residents have successfully received a temporary restraining order against the full opening of a shelter on 267 Rogers Avenue. The courageous opponents of the shelter’s opening are demanding that the new building be completely designated for affordable housing.

The 267 Rogers Avenue shelter reportedly has the capacity to house 132 families. The shelter allegedly moved 10 families into the facility before a judge ordered that there be no further move-ins until future rulings are made.

A Crown Heights block association president, and plaintiff in the case against the 267 Rogers Avenue shelter, is quoted in an article on DNA Info as stating, in reference to the homeless families: “We’re not looking to kick them out. We want them there permanently.”

The opponents to the shelter are not just asking that the City abandon its plan to open the shelter. They are farsightedly seeking permanent affordable housing for their community.

According to an April 5, 2017 DNA Info article, the 267 Rogers Avenue shelter, “will share space with affordable housing tenants who will use 20 percent of the new building’s apartments.” I find this baffling!! I’ve never heard of the City implementing such a plan. Who would pay rent to live in a homeless shelter?

The plaintiffs in the aforementioned lawsuit are hoping that the judge rules in their favor and mandates that the facility be used 100% for low-income/affordable housing.

The next hearing date regarding the shelter is on Monday, June 12, 2017 at 2 PM. Kings County Supreme Court, 360 Adams Street, Room 461.

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedintumblr

NYC Mayor Addresses Homelessness And Affordable Housing At Bed-Stuy Town Hall Meeting

HRA Commissioner Steven Banks also makes an appearance.

I will be analyzing a lot of what was said at this event topic-by-topic on this blog…Stay tuned.

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedintumblr

Homeless New Yorker Stat Of The Week

HMLS New Yorker

A recent article in DNA Info cites a Furman Center study that states: “Only 14.8% of the buildings currently getting the tax abatement have on-site affordable housing, while an additional 4.4% support affordable housing at a different site.”

Note that tax abatements are given to real estate developers by the government in exchange for an agreement that the developers provide affordable housing units within the developments that they build. The question is: Who is monitoring the developers to make sure that they honor their agreement? Also, are there loopholes in the agreement that allows the developers to sidestep their promised obligation to offer affordable housing?

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedintumblr

Governmental Incentives For Developers To Provide Public Housing

HMLS New Yorker

I got the following information from an affordable housing seminar that I attended earlier in the week. The HPD representative who gave a presentation shared this information.

Governmental incentives for affordable housing includes: Tax abatement, operating subsidies vouchers, additional development rights, and financial assistance.

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedintumblr

The Different Types Of Affordable Housing

homeless-new-yorker-city

I got the following information from an affordable housing seminar that I attended earlier in the week. The HPD representative who gave a presentation shared this information.

The different types of affordable housing are: Public housing, Mitchell-Lama, senior housing, section 8 vouchers, mandatory inclusionary housing (MIH), rent stabilization, supportive housing, and publicly-financed private housing.

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedintumblr

My Homelessness Has Been A Catalyst For…

HMLS New Yorker

Being trapped in a system riddled with ever-changing protocols, no transparency, mind-boggling incompetence, lack of expertise to solve the stated problem, scattered/inconsistent “professional” advice, and a myriad of other unfortunate euphemisms, is akin to being caught in quicksand.

So many people give up and resign their fate to a callous system because they recognize that the more they fight, the more they get stuck. Speak up about the gross negligence you experience; you’ll constantly be scheduled for case conferences that administrators never show up to, while your family loses income and jeopardizes their jobs to show up to meetings that never happen all under the duress that you’ll be kicked out of your shelter if you don’t attend. Gain momentum in connecting with the community that your shelter is located in; you’ll be transferred from your shelter without your consent, without fair warning or reason, and with inconsistent moving dates that cause more loss of income. Reach out to the Department of Homeless Services (DHS) to look for solutions for what you’re experiencing, and for tangible housing help so you can get out of the system; you’ll be virtually ignored, or be given insultingly ineffective rhetoric while you spend precious time and money to send faxes and certified letters looking for reasonable answers that are never given. Reach out to DHS’s Ombudsman Unit; you’ll still receive the same insultingly ineffective rhetoric with a snappy retort that let’s you know they see you and your serious issues as an annoyance, not as a duty to fulfill their mission statement. All of the above and more has happened to me and my family.

I have reasonably went through all of the “proper” channels that supposedly exist internally in the homeless shelter system. When that was to no avail, I began to reach out to entities outside of the system to seek some type of relief or recompense. Like I stated above, once I started to gain momentum, I was shipped out of my shelter like a chattel slave or prisoner. (CLICK HERE for details on that.)

I have diligently, independently looked for affordable housing for years. Unfortunately, as a lot of New Yorkers have lamented, the city is not kind to working-class citizens. The “professionals” within the homeless system have offered me no tangible help. I have, thus far, via the advisement of homeless administrators, only been matched with realtors who have either never returned my calls, or haven’t dealt in real estate in months, have disconnected numbers, or have been out-and-out scammers. (I’ll elaborate on these experiences in the near future.)

I am now at the point where what I have been experiencing has lead me to research laws, legal precedents, and a bevy of other things that relate to my current housing situation. Also, towards the end of last year, I began to once again attend community council meetings; a practice I participated in for years until my schedule disallowed it.

Based on my experience thus far, I believe that in order to solve the problem of my homelessness, I must delve deeper into the raison d’être for its existence. I must also get familiar with the policies that relate to homelessness. This is tough to do when there is a lack of transparency, and so much confusion, in the housing system. However, I will continue to push forward.

It is shameful that a person has to navigate such waters via such a circuitous route in order to get a basic life necessity, but I will continue to do so to the best of my ability. You have to have the skills of a CEO and the sleep patterns of an elephant to navigate this system. SMH!

Stay tuned. I will share what I am learning.

-The HMLS New Yorker

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedintumblr

The Federal Definition Of Affordable Housing

HMLS New Yorker

The United States Department of Housing and Urban Development defines affordable housing as follows: “In general, housing for which the occupant(s) is/are paying no more than 30 percent of his or her income for gross housing costs, including utilities.”

The speaker at the affordable housing seminar I went to yesterday said that most New Yorkers pay over 60% of their income for rent.

If you spend more than 30% of your income on rent, you are said to be “overburdened.”

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedintumblr