Council Passes Bill for More Data on Families With Children in Shelters

On February 2, 2023, the New York City Council approved Local Law 26, which would more closely monitor the status of the City’s most vulnerable families—those who live in shelters. The new law was originally introduced in 2022 by Council Member Kevin C. Riley as Introduction 421. Local Law 26 now requires the NYC Department of Homeless Services to report more regularly on the status of families with children living in shelters.

Public Advocate Introduces Homeless Bill of Rights Legislation to City Council

On April 14, 2022, Public Advocate Jumaane D. Williams, along with Council Members Rafael Salamanca, Tiffany Cabán, Althea Stevens, Shahana Hanif, Diana Ayala, Julie Won, Lincoln Restler, Shekar Krishnan and Crystal Hudson, introduced a first-of-its-kind Homeless Bill of Rights at the City Council stated hearing. The legislation, called Int. 190, would codify rights of homeless individuals living within and outside of the City’s shelter system in a Homeless Bill of Rights.

Audit Faults Shelter Contracts

State Comptroller’s audit criticized the high costs of past homeless shelters leases; the agency responded that it is in the process of tightening its leasing procedures. In October of 2017, the New York State Comptroller’s office released an audit regarding contracts signed over the past four years between the City and landlords providing homeless shelters. The audit found that the Department of Homeless Services does not have written policies and standard operating procedures for key … <Read More>

YMCA Sprinkler Summons Dismissed

Vestibule lacked connection to the building’s sprinkler system. The YMCA maintains a location at 99 Meserole Avenue in Brooklyn in a building constructed in the mid-1900’s. The YMCA at this location has a gym, locker room, rooms for hosting communal activities and classes as well as living quarters to serve as a Department of Homeless Services shelter. The second, third and fourth floors consist of 102 bedrooms and kitchen areas.

Mayor Pushes New Plan to Combat Homelessness

Mayor’s new homelessness plan includes broad reforms in current systems and the replacement of 360 shelter cluster sites with 90 new shelters citywide. On February 28, 2017, the Mayor’s Office released a 128-page report entitled “Turning the Tide on Homelessness.” The report outlines the steps the administration will take going forward to better combat the rising homeless crisis in New York City.

Comptroller Audit Reveals Potential Problems With DHS Providers Oversight

Comptroller’s audit finds that DHS’ fiscal operations could reduce the effectiveness of DHS’ oversight over providers. On January 24, 2017, the Office of the City Comptroller Scott Stringer released a report of an audit of Samaritan Daytop Village Inc., a not-for-profit corporation that provides shelter and services to homeless individuals and families under a contract with the Department of Homeless Services. The audit sought to evaluate whether payments to Samaritan and the payment rates were … <Read More>