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Sunset Parkers livid about shelters taking over area inns

Concerned: Sunset Parkers are worried that a temporary family shelter on 24th Street near Fourth Avenue will be a permanent addition to the neighborhood.
Brooklyn Paper
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They’ve got serious reservations.

Sunset Parkers came out in force to Community Board 7’s Sept. 21 meeting concerned that the city is quietly turning area hotels into homeless shelters. Numerous buildings billed as inns for tourists are actually homes for the transient, but the city is not broadcasting that fact, and locals are fed-up with the lack of transparency, said one resident.

“It feels like a bait-and-switch situation where we were told there was going to be a hotel but it’s a shelter,” said 23rd Street resident Maya Visco, referring to a stalled hotel that is operating as a temporary family shelter on 24th Street between Third and Fourth avenues. “You know I’m a home owner, my kids go to school here. I’m in it for the long haul and I want to know what is going on here, and I feel there is a serious lack of transparen­cy.”

Sunset Park only has one official homeless shelter — a controversial place for single men on 49th Street between Second and Third avenues. But the area is exploding with hotel development, and the Department of Homeless Services is actually renting rooms in five area inns without alerting locals, according to Community Board Seven district manager Jeremy Laufer.

“As they keep telling me, these are not shelters so they do not have to inform us when they are renting there,” he said.

Meantime quality of life is tanking on blocks near the shelters, another resident said.

“In the 28 years I have lived on my block, people were never behaving like this to the point where I feel threatened,” said Barbara Lee, who says she has suffered several sleepless nights due to people loudly congregating in front of the 24th Street hotel. “I never thought I’d be a nimby person — not in my back yard — but if somebody is not respecting my rights how can I respect theirs?”

Reach reporter Caroline Spivack at cspivack@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260–2517. Follow her on Twitter @carolinespivack.
Updated 10:17 pm, July 9, 2018
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Reasonable discourse

Sunset Parker says:
I'm livid
Sept. 26, 2016, 4:57 pm
JP from Sunset Park says:
The people in the article are right. There are many more shady people hanging around this area lately. The 24-hour deli on the corner of 4th Ave. and 25th St. has a non-stop parade of junkies, skells, and drug dealers hanging around outside it.
Sept. 28, 2016, 10:23 am
grnwdlows from greenwood heights says:
We need to join forces as a community and fight this. I understand the need for low cost housing and the high costs of rent in these times. However, the bait and switch tactics that are going on in our neighborhood is deceitful and harmful to our community. The city is spending nearly 2.4 million a year on the hotel on 24 st alone. It has 41 rooms. It is poor use of tax payer dollars. I bought my house using my life savings, knowing I was buying in a safish neighborhood with good schools, that would some day, if needed, be a return on my investment. I now have up to 5 homeless shelter within blocks and at least two more "hotels" being built.
Oct. 1, 2016, 6:19 pm
newhomeowner from greenwood heights says:
the lack of transparency is insulting. does hotel lebleu have any vacancies? its completely insane that the entire hotel is being used as a shelter. i am not opposed to families being provided with adequate shelter but all neighborhoods should contribute. what can we do? is there a single page we can all connect & collaborate?
Oct. 5, 2016, 11:42 pm

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