Upcoming Hearing on Homeless Shelter

Please see below for a message from the Board

Attention residents:

A public forum will be held on Monday, November 27 at 6:30 to hear the NYC’s Department of Homeless Services’ plan to open a new homeless facility on East 31st Street at the Hotel Chandler building between Madison and Fifth. The forum will be held at the American Sign Language School at 225 East 23rd Street.

If you can show up and voice your opposition to this project, that would be great. If you are unable to attend, we strongly urge you to send a letter (sample below) to these various city officials prior to the November 27 forum.

Sample letter:
I strongly urge you to oppose the conversion of the Chandler Hotel into a homeless shelter for 170 families at 12 East 31 St.
I have deep compassion for homeless families. However, using a hotel to house 170 families cannot be considered a humane, fair and sustainable long-term policy.

I remember when blocks in the East 20s and 30s were an epicenter for SROs. Over time, City of New York public policymakers recognized that this was not the solution to the problem. Developers and hotel chains reclaimed these structures, invested in them and turned them into beautiful residential buildings and hotels. The East 20s and 30s were slowly “cleaned up” and now attract destination restaurants, retail stores and include the safe and clean Madison Square Park. People, like myself, invested in the neighborhood and bought condominiums and co-ops. After many years of blight, the area began to shine.

Our neighborhood is already home to 8 facilities housing the homeless and 6 of these are hotels, including the Mave Hotel at 62 Madison Avenue at 27th Street. Please refer to the attached NY1 news story:

http://www.ny1.com/nyc/all-boroughs/day news/2017/11/17/city-plans-to-use-swanky-midtown-hotel-as-homeless-shelter

I understand that every neighborhood needs to help resolve the homeless crisis. However, this is a matter of equity. The City’s stated policy is that shelters will be placed in the neighborhoods where homelessness occurs so that individuals and families are not uprooted from their schools and support systems.

What is the justification for placing a 9th shelter in a neighborhood that is not the home community for these families? Further, what does the City of New York gain by stigmatizing a neighborhood which is finally recovering from its long and troubled history when it was primarily known for its SROs and the attendant crime those facilities often brought to an area?

There seems to be no effort to locate shelters in the Tribeca, Soho, Flatiron nor the pristine and leafy neighborhoods of the Upper East Side.

I respectfully ask that you help to stop this misguided and unfair decision by the City of New York.

Your Name

Please send your letters to:

  • Gale Brewer, Borough President:
  • Jefferson Mao, Urban Planner for Community Board 5
  • Scott Stringer – Comptroller:
    The various departments within the Comptroller’s office having some role over housing/ social services/contracts/fiscal review:
  • Rosie Mendez, City Council member who represents our building:
  • Community Board 5:
  • Nick Athanail, Community Board 5 Chair of Quality of Life and Public Safety Committee:
  • Dan Garodnick, City Council Member for the District of the Hotel/Proposed Shelter: