According to the New York Post, the Civil Law Reform Unit at The Legal Aid Society filed a Freedom of Information Law request to obtain statistics regarding NYCHA.
The information obtained revealed the following troubling statistics about New York City’s housing projects:
- NYCHA has 174,000 apartments, out of which more than 150,000 went without heat or hot water for a period of time during last winter.
- 259 out of 326 of NYCHA’s developments went without heat and/or hot water between October 1, 2018, and May 31, 2018.
The New York Post states: “[NYCHA] is under a partial federal takeover because of city mismanagement, including a lead-paint debacle…NYCHA has until October 2024 to reduce heating outages to just 15 percent of apartments during the winter under the agreement City Hall signed with the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development.”
According to the New York Post, a recent report released by the city’s Comptroller, Scott Stringer, reveals that the Department of Youth and Community Development, an agency entrusted to perform inspections on New York City homeless shelters that house homeless youth and runaways, covered up dangerous conditions at those shelters.
The New York Post reported that the Department of Youth and Community Development is paid an annual fee of $8 million to perform the inspections. The City Comptroller is quoted as saying the following regarding the fraudulent inspections: “The young people who need our help the most should be able to count on full and honest support from the city, but our audit found inadequate supervision, altered records, and shifting explanations at the agency that exists to help them.”
The Comptroller has placed the Homeless Services Provider Agencies on a watch list. This is the second consecutive year that the agencies have been on the Comptroller’s Agency Watch List. According to the NYC Comptroller’s website: “The Agency Watch List spotlights city agencies that raise the most budgetary concerns due to rapidly increased spending and meager measurable results.”
On Thursday, A 45-year-old woman was found dead in a Bronx homeless shelter. According to the New York Daily News, her death is being investigated as “suspicious.”
The mother of three was reportedly living at the BronxWorks shelter, located on E138th Street for only two months before her sudden death.
The New York Post reports that the police have stated that “an unidentified man was seen fleeing [her] room before her death.” The New York Post also quotes her father, who also lived with the now deceased woman and her children, as saying: “We don’t know what happened. We have a lot of questions and we are looking for answers.”
The mother tragically leaves behind a 13-year-old daughter and seven-year-old twin sons.
New York City homeless shelters are notoriously drug riddled. There are many NYC homeless shelters where drugs are rampant and drug users are allowed to ingest drugs via a variety of methods with impunity. Shelter staff often turns a blind eye to obvious drug use; some even participate in the illegal activity in one form or another.
Proof of rampant drug use in and around New York City homeless shelters often appear in the form of news stories when the drug use leads to multiple overdoses, or some other ridiculously egregious event occurs.
It has been reported that, a few weeks ago, a mother residing at an East Harlem homeless shelter was charged with the crime of attempted murder after trying to drown her daughters in the shelter’s bathtub.
The mother subsequently told law enforcement that she had smoked “bad marijuana,” which caused her to experience hallucinations in which she thought her daughters were being attacked by bugs.
The use of synthetic marijuana at NYC homeless shelters has been widely reported, especially over the past few summer seasons. The drug has notably caused mass overdoses in New York City, in areas where there are homeless shelters.
The following statement is an excerpt from Coalition for the Homeless’s “State of the Homeless 2019” Report. (This report is a survey, and analysis of the New York homeless shelter system. Also, the following passage is 100% accurate, sad to say. SMH!):
“In addition to the needed capital repairs, the failure to provide routine cleaning and maintenance of facilities is degrading to shelter residents and creates unhygienic conditions. Coalition monitors frequently observe filthy bathrooms, most often at night and on weekends. Shelter residents sometimes have no choice but to try to clean the bathrooms themselves despite lacking proper equipment and supplies. Problems with vermin, including insect infestations, also abound in many shelters.
Certain practices and conditions in many shelters further traumatize and dehumanize homeless individuals. These practices include requiring residents to request toilet paper whenever they need to use the restroom; providing poor-quality, unappetizing food and insufficient portions (while forbidding residents from bringing outside food into shelters); failing to offer frequent laundry services; providing inadequate case management and housing assistance; and erecting bureaucratic barriers that deter those seeking shelter.”
[NOTE: The above picture is from news source DNA Info. It is from a 2015 article entitled, “Jail Has Better Food Than Homeless Shelter Without Kitchens, Residents Say”]
In the Coalition For The Homeless’s most recent report on the state of homelessness in New York, they created a “Homelessness Policy Report Card.” On their report card, they gave New York City the following grades:
Housing Production and Supply: F
Housing Vouchers and Stability: B-
Supportive Housing; C
Homelessness Prevention: A-
Meeting the Unprecedented Need for Shelters: C+
Family Intake and Eligibility: D
Shelter Conditions: C+
Homeless Children and Students: C-
SIDEBAR: I’m not sure how shelter conditions and homeless children and students didn’t both get an F+
The following New York Real Property Laws provide tenants with the right to organize without harassment:
“Tenants have a legal right to organize. They may form, join and participate in tenant organizations for the purpose of protecting their rights. Landlords are required to permit tenant organizations to meet, at no cost, in any community or social room in the building, even if the use of the room is normally subject to a fee. Tenant organization meetings are required to be held at reasonable times and in a peaceful manner which does not obstruct access to the premises.” (Real Property § 230)
“Landlords are prohibited from harassing or retaliating against tenants who exercise their rights. For example, landlords may not seek to evict tenants solely because tenants (a) make good faith complaints to a government agency about violations of any health or safety laws; or (b) take good faith actions to protect rights under their lease; or (c) participate in tenant organizations. Tenants may collect damages from landlords who violate this law, which applies to all rentals except owner-occupied dwellings with fewer than four units.” (Real Property § 223-b)