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Author Topic: High end homeless shelter  (Read 7541 times)

Offline Billz1981

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High end homeless shelter
« on: June 04, 2009, 02:24:32 PM »
While I'm all for a shelter system to support those who need help, I think this move is pretty tone deaf on the part of DHS officials: http://www.nydailynews.com/real_estate/2009/06/04/2009-06-04_city_turns_upscale_building_into_homeless_shelter.html

What about middle class people who would be glad to rent those units at similar rates?

Offline casicua

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Re: High end homeless shelter
« Reply #1 on: June 04, 2009, 02:53:13 PM »
That is outrageous- especially given the cost of these units:
$2700/Month! You mean to tell me that tax money can't be more efficiently allocated to help homeless people?


I think one neighbor resident said it best:

Quote
"I'm a hardworking taxpayer, and I don't think homeless people should be living better than me," fumed Desmond John, 35, a window salesman who wanted to rent one of the fancy apartments. "They said it's not for rent. It's a shelter. I was shocked."

Offline Alison

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Re: High end homeless shelter
« Reply #2 on: June 04, 2009, 02:59:39 PM »
At $2700/month, I can sublet my awesome (top floor, sunny, spacious, all that jazz) 2BR to the city, and have enough left over to get a pretty good 1BR closer to the train.
What's so funny 'bout peace, love and understanding?

Offline neo11

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Re: High end homeless shelter
« Reply #3 on: June 04, 2009, 03:44:15 PM »
What happened?  I thought the city (and state) was having a budget crisis.  The same one that has resulted in cuts in so many vital services, higher mass transit fares, higher taxes (unless you're rich), and thousands of layoffs from city government jobs.  It's amazing how Mayor Gloomberg and the mini-Gloombergs he's dispatched in the various city agencies are able to find the money to pay for such things as upscale condos for the homeless, as well as the waterfall "art" project last year, but can't find the money to fund mass transit, keep those city workers, give raises to teachers, police, fire, etc., repair the city's decaying (and sometimes dangerous) roads, maintain vital services, etc.

But as always, people will get impressed with the slick advertising and the billions and will re-elect Gloomberg in November...

Offline Harlan

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Re: High end homeless shelter
« Reply #4 on: June 04, 2009, 04:25:30 PM »
Does anyone know how much per night the city pays for housing + services at other locations? The $90/night includes "social services, housing help and job counseling designed to get families back on their feet." I don't really care how much the units would rent for on the open market, I just care if the city is getting a decent deal from the non-profit that rented the building and is offering the support services. This article doesn't really answer those questions, so I'm going to reserve judgment until I have some context.

Offline amandax

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Re: High end homeless shelter
« Reply #5 on: June 04, 2009, 04:50:55 PM »
I just wanted to point out that these units are in Crown Heights. That neighborhood was an iffy bet for those developers to build such fancy co-ops. Not many people who would have that kind of money to spend would want to live there. The article said that they were vacant because no one was buying them. I wonder if it's worse for that community to have a big vacant building attracting who knows who to squat there, fall into disrepair, be abandoned, or set on fire (as many developers do when their bets don't turn out and they want the insurance- see the Bronx fires in the 80s) or have some of that community's homeless helped out and off their streets in a supervised and structured place? Just playing devil's advocate. I do think $2700 a month is a bit much and am more pissed that the developer who made a bad decision by building something in a fringe neighborhood when he wasn't sure there was demand there in the first place is making out so well in this.

Offline Billz1981

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Re: High end homeless shelter
« Reply #6 on: June 04, 2009, 05:21:15 PM »
I do think $2700 a month is a bit much and am more pissed that the developer who made a bad decision by building something in a fringe neighborhood when he wasn't sure there was demand there in the first place is making out so well in this.

That's what happens when we allow the government to intervene in a free market.  By rights, the developer should have had to come up with something to do with those units on his own.  As someone pointed out in the comments on the original article, once he has taken in the hefty fees from the city, he is free to sell the units after the deal expires.

Offline 28Grand

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Re: High end homeless shelter
« Reply #7 on: June 04, 2009, 05:27:51 PM »
I can see how this can cause outrage, it aggravates me, but the city has an obligation to house homeless families, especially those in need of immediate shelter. It's not as easy to find places for them. I mean how many hotels in the city offer rooms for $90 per night? Many landlords will not rent to the homeless unless the city sweetens the pot.

Shelters are supposed to be used for temporary accommodation until more permananet housing can be found so more than more family will benefit from these apartments -- at least that how it's supposed to work.

Believe it or not this is an improvement to what went on in the 80s and 90s when the city spents millions to warehouse families in derelict, rat infested single room hotels.



Offline amandax

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Re: High end homeless shelter
« Reply #8 on: June 04, 2009, 05:36:59 PM »
That's what happens when we allow the government to intervene in a free market.  By rights, the developer should have had to come up with something to do with those units on his own.  As someone pointed out in the comments on the original article, once he has taken in the hefty fees from the city, he is free to sell the units after the deal expires.

You can buy a single family house in Crown Heights for that much. You can buy a freakin' brownstone there for 600k. No one is going to buy condos there for 300k. I've seen time and time again what developers do when they can't sell buildings. They strip them and burn them to the ground to collect the insurance. Thank God the government is starting to intervene in the free market. The lack of intervention is what got us to this point in the first place. I'm sure we're just going to have to agree to disagree there.

Offline Billz1981

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Re: High end homeless shelter
« Reply #9 on: June 04, 2009, 05:53:09 PM »
Thank God the government is starting to intervene in the free market.
That leads to a crisis of definition.

The lack of intervention is what got us to this point in the first place. I'm sure we're just going to have to agree to disagree there.

That's the official populist line these days, I guess.

Offline Billz1981

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Re: High end homeless shelter
« Reply #10 on: June 04, 2009, 06:00:04 PM »
I can see how this can cause outrage, it aggravates me, but the city has an obligation to house homeless families, especially those in need of immediate shelter. It's not as easy to find places for them. I mean how many hotels in the city offer rooms for $90 per night? Many landlords will not rent to the homeless unless the city sweetens the pot.

Shelters are supposed to be used for temporary accommodation until more permananet housing can be found so more than more family will benefit from these apartments -- at least that how it's supposed to work.

Believe it or not this is an improvement to what went on in the 80s and 90s when the city spents millions to warehouse families in derelict, rat infested single room hotels.


To me, it's a violation of the public trust.  If we were to house these people more cheaply, we would be able to help greater numbers.  And philosophically, I get very uncomfortable at the notion that the city (or we as tax payers) are obligated to help anyone.  We should want to help people because that is one of the basic drives of humanity.  But when it becomes an obligation, there is little incentive to get off the public dole, or to stop being a tax eater.  To say nothing of the fairness of the government taking what is not theirs via taxes and making us pay a surcharge to redistribute what we've worked for. 

Though I guess we're only bound to see more redistribution these days, given the tide in Washington.  It seems that most economic decisions are made with little consideration of economics.  I'll just have to wait patiently and profit as best I can off the sun bleached bones when it all settles out.   :evil:

Offline 28Grand

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Re: High end homeless shelter
« Reply #11 on: June 04, 2009, 06:33:10 PM »
I don’t want to get into a long debate over whether the government should have a social policy and help those in need because we obviously have differing viewpoints. We had this discussion before and taxpayer money is used on all sorts things that you may feel appropriate and I do not and vice versa.

I’m as aggravated as you are about this particular story but I have no problem with putting people in need in these apartments. I’m more bothered trying to decide is this just a case of the developer making a good deal or is it greed? In the end it seems like another government handout -- to private business.

Poor people have a right to public trust as much as the middle class or the wealthy. If part of that trust involves the government helping house people who find themselves in need, I can’t see how spending on housing can be classified as intervening in the free market unless you classify all government spending as an intervention.

How do you suggest the city find cheaper housing? That’s the first thing that comes into my mind too but there never seems to be an answer. The city should manage better yes but on the other hand, people should feel a duty to be good citizens and not take advantage -- by not taking housing when they aren’t truly in need and by not overcharging for it.

I agree with Harlan that some context is needed. I am very skeptical on the classification of the building as luxury, given the location and the suggested sale prices. I mean look at the Pistilli buildings, they are promoted as ‘luxury’ with top end finishings and by what I read in other threads, I’m not impressed.

(And speaking of the Pistilli buildings, I was criticized in other threads for insisting that we as a community should support the new owners and tenants of those buildings to ensure their success -- now you know why.)

Offline casicua

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Re: High end homeless shelter
« Reply #12 on: June 04, 2009, 06:47:55 PM »
That's what happens when we allow the government to intervene in a free market.  By rights, the developer should have had to come up with something to do with those units on his own.  As someone pointed out in the comments on the original article, once he has taken in the hefty fees from the city, he is free to sell the units after the deal expires.

I wouldn't necessarily draw the conclusion that government shouldn't intervene. What I would draw is a heftier need for accountability and regulation. I think homeless people certainly need housing, and when times are really tough, it is important that the safety net be there for them-which really can only be provided by government programs. If anything, this points out to me the need for these types of programs to constantly be under the public eye to ensure that we all know our tax dollars are not going to finance government aid that allows for homeless people to live better than us working taxpayers do.

Offline neo11

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Re: High end homeless shelter
« Reply #13 on: June 04, 2009, 07:54:59 PM »
I don’t want to get into a long debate over whether the government should have a social policy and help those in need because we obviously have differing viewpoints. We had this discussion before and taxpayer money is used on all sorts things that you may feel appropriate and I do not and vice versa.

I’m as aggravated as you are about this particular story but I have no problem with putting people in need in these apartments. I’m more bothered trying to decide is this just a case of the developer making a good deal or is it greed? In the end it seems like another government handout -- to private business.

Poor people have a right to public trust as much as the middle class or the wealthy. If part of that trust involves the government helping house people who find themselves in need, I can’t see how spending on housing can be classified as intervening in the free market unless you classify all government spending as an intervention.

How do you suggest the city find cheaper housing? That’s the first thing that comes into my mind too but there never seems to be an answer. The city should manage better yes but on the other hand, people should feel a duty to be good citizens and not take advantage -- by not taking housing when they aren’t truly in need and by not overcharging for it.

I agree with Harlan that some context is needed. I am very skeptical on the classification of the building as luxury, given the location and the suggested sale prices. I mean look at the Pistilli buildings, they are promoted as ‘luxury’ with top end finishings and by what I read in other threads, I’m not impressed.

(And speaking of the Pistilli buildings, I was criticized in other threads for insisting that we as a community should support the new owners and tenants of those buildings to ensure their success -- now you know why.)

But how do you know there aren't cheaper options out there?  Surely there's many older apartment buildings out there.  And hotels?  Prices have fallen drastically since the downturn.  At a recent conference I attended at a well-known Midtown Manhattan hotel in a very central location, regular room rates for a double room were $99 back in March.  This was not the special conference rate, by the way, but the rate offered through the hotel's website! 

Filling up these newly built but vacant condos and apartments reeks of a city government bailout of condo developers.  With so many other services being cut, people being fired, taxes being increased, surely there's many, many better uses for that money.  But it seems like Gloomberg and his administration is, as always, untouchable.

Offline Harlan

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Re: High end homeless shelter
« Reply #14 on: June 04, 2009, 08:35:18 PM »
But how do you know there aren't cheaper options out there? 

We don't. That's why I'm reserving judgment for now. This could be a scandal. Or it could be a good deal for the city. I have no way of knowing, because I don't know anything at all about the city's costs to get the same services elsewhere. All of you who are judging this project without knowledge are playing into the tabloid journalism. Don't you question anything you read?

Or are you just unhappy because poor people get something nice for a change?

Seriously, think about your motivations and why you're outraged. What aspect of the story outrages you?

Offline essen

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Re: High end homeless shelter
« Reply #15 on: June 04, 2009, 09:11:34 PM »
I'm pretty sure these places were up on Craigslist for rent for a long time before this has happened. amandax is right. Anyone outraged by the thought of homeless people living in a swank condo should go walk around Crown Heights on a beautiful Saturday afternoon and wonder if they'd want to switch places with these homeless people and live in that neighborhood. If I were given the choice of having homeless people sleep on the sidewalk or live in a luxury apartment complex nobody else wants to live in, I'll take the latter. Since the place exists, it might as well be used. The $2700 figure is ludicrous though. The developer got a pretty sweet deal since I can't imagine anyone paying $2700/month to live there. I bet they could've haggled him lower, unless there's some homeless rental law I'm not aware of that requires the city to pay landlords $90/night per apartment. He probably has friends at Bushwick Economic Development Group.

Offline Harlan

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Re: High end homeless shelter
« Reply #16 on: June 04, 2009, 10:11:09 PM »
The $2700 figure is ludicrous though.

Just to clarify, again, that $90/day ($2700/month) apparently goes to the non-profit that administers the program, and includes job placement and housing-search programs for the homeless families, plus salaries for the non-profit's staff. The property owner is definitely getting less than $90/day per unit, although how much less, I have no idea, and neither does anyone else on this board.

Offline enigmacat

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Re: High end homeless shelter
« Reply #17 on: June 04, 2009, 11:17:13 PM »
Here's an article by Malcolm Gladwell on the cost of not housing the homeless versus housing the homeless.

It's a long read, but very interesting.

Offline essen

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Re: High end homeless shelter
« Reply #18 on: June 05, 2009, 12:03:59 AM »
Just to clarify, again, that $90/day ($2700/month) apparently goes to the non-profit that administers the program, and includes job placement and housing-search programs for the homeless families, plus salaries for the non-profit's staff. The property owner is definitely getting less than $90/day per unit, although how much less, I have no idea, and neither does anyone else on this board.

While I get what you're saying, to put things in one sort of perspective, I live off less than $2700/month and I don't consider myself impoverished. So regardless of exactly where that $90/day is going, that seems like an unnecessary amount of money to spend per apartment. That said, it does not say that there's a different rate depending on how many people are in the apartments, whether it's all families or if individuals are able to room together and it's still $90. But I do hope they are successful at rehabilitating these people.

Offline kempsternyc

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Re: High end homeless shelter
« Reply #19 on: June 05, 2009, 12:40:01 AM »
All of you who are judging this project without knowledge are playing into the tabloid journalism. Don't you question anything you read?


Well, conservatives didn't question the Iraq war for years. And I am sure they are happy about the hundreds of billions spent then. I mean...how many trillions did we go in debt during the Bush years. So why 2700 a month is upsetting to some surprises me. How much did these people howl during the Bush years?

Bill, come on...be honest. If we are spent money bombing people in a war that we didn't need to get into...why are you so upset about 2700 a month in Crown Heights?
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Offline neo11

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Re: High end homeless shelter
« Reply #20 on: June 05, 2009, 02:06:55 AM »
Well, conservatives didn't question the Iraq war for years. And I am sure they are happy about the hundreds of billions spent then. I mean...how many trillions did we go in debt during the Bush years. So why 2700 a month is upsetting to some surprises me. How much did these people howl during the Bush years?

Bill, come on...be honest. If we are spent money bombing people in a war that we didn't need to get into...why are you so upset about 2700 a month in Crown Heights?

I think the mistake many people make is turning everything into a liberal vs. conservative issue.  If one is against both the hundreds of billions spent on the Iraq war *and* the $2700/month on brand-new condos for the homeless in Crown Heights, what does that make them?

Offline casicua

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Re: High end homeless shelter
« Reply #21 on: June 05, 2009, 08:43:27 AM »
Or are you just unhappy because poor people get something nice for a change?

Seriously, think about your motivations and why you're outraged. What aspect of the story outrages you?

Not to really sound cold about it-but if my tax dollars are paying for it, then yes, that is partially why I am unhappy. I think that my tax dollars should be paying to fulfill the basic needs of homeless people, not to have them living in something that far above their basic necessities.

Aside from the fact that I think it's completely negligent use of government money, my other motivation is the fact that it is completely inefficient allocation of funds. For the amount of money they are paying, they could be housing more homeless people in less "high-end" or cheaper accommodations.

I feel like my tax dollars are not only paying for a frivolous luxury for homeless people, but also taking away from the help my tax dollars could be providing to more homeless people.
« Last Edit: June 05, 2009, 08:54:04 AM by casicua »

Offline casicua

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Re: High end homeless shelter
« Reply #22 on: June 05, 2009, 08:45:14 AM »
If one is against both the hundreds of billions spent on the Iraq war *and* the $2700/month on brand-new condos for the homeless in Crown Heights, what does that make them?

Financially responsible.

Offline Sweeper

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Re: High end homeless shelter
« Reply #23 on: June 05, 2009, 08:56:07 AM »
Here's an article by Malcolm Gladwell on the cost of not housing the homeless versus housing the homeless.

It's a long read, but very interesting.

It was an interesting article, but what conclusions do you draw from it?


Quote
Well, conservatives didn't question the Iraq war for years
Congratulations Kempster on winning the non-sequitur of the year award. :mrgreen:

Offline Harlan

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Re: High end homeless shelter
« Reply #24 on: June 05, 2009, 10:21:18 AM »
Not to really sound cold about it-but if my tax dollars are paying for it, then yes, that is partially why I am unhappy. I think that my tax dollars should be paying to fulfill the basic needs of homeless people, not to have them living in something that far above their basic necessities.

Aside from the fact that I think it's completely negligent use of government money, my other motivation is the fact that it is completely inefficient allocation of funds. For the amount of money they are paying, they could be housing more homeless people in less "high-end" or cheaper accommodations.

I feel like my tax dollars are not only paying for a frivolous luxury for homeless people, but also taking away from the help my tax dollars could be providing to more homeless people.

Thank you for the clear and honest response. I agree with you. The city should not be spending more money than necessary to help homeless people get off the streets and back to being productive members of society. I also am glad to see that you support the project of spending taxpayer dollars to assist the poorest and worst off.

What I'm puzzled about is how you know that the city is spending more money per family on this shelter than they are on other shelters. We know two things: the amount of money/night the city spends on housing and otherwise supporting families in this shelter (but not the amount they spend on similar services in other shelters), and that the complex has nice fixtures because it was originally intended to be quasi-luxury condos. This information doesn't allow us to conclude that the city is wasting money. It raises the question that the city may be wasting money, but it doesn't answer the question.

Offline casicua

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Re: High end homeless shelter
« Reply #25 on: June 05, 2009, 11:14:02 AM »
What I'm puzzled about is how you know that the city is spending more money per family on this shelter than they are on other shelters. We know two things: the amount of money/night the city spends on housing and otherwise supporting families in this shelter (but not the amount they spend on similar services in other shelters), and that the complex has nice fixtures because it was originally intended to be quasi-luxury condos. This information doesn't allow us to conclude that the city is wasting money. It raises the question that the city may be wasting money, but it doesn't answer the question.

Well- I do not know what the government spends on other shelters, so yes this could in fact be the median price.
The outrage from me, and it seems a few other people on this board, is that the government is dishing out $2700/Month for each apartment. I don't even live in a $2700/Month apartment, and I make a decent wage. It just doesn't make sense to me that a regular person can find an apartment for far cheaper, and the government is basically spending more than many of us working taxpayers do on apartments for the homeless.

With that said, if this is in fact close to the median cost that the government is dishing out for homeless housing, there is some serious need to re-evaluate spending for these programs.

Offline odenhal

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Re: High end homeless shelter
« Reply #26 on: June 05, 2009, 11:27:09 AM »
Well, conservatives didn't question the Iraq war for years. And I am sure they are happy about the hundreds of billions spent then. I mean...how many trillions did we go in debt during the Bush years. So why 2700 a month is upsetting to some surprises me. How much did these people howl during the Bush years?

Bill, come on...be honest. If we are spent money bombing people in a war that we didn't need to get into...why are you so upset about 2700 a month in Crown Heights?

wow,  :x if you cant make a good argument  :cry: just blame bush  :mrgreen:
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Offline enigmacat

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Re: High end homeless shelter
« Reply #27 on: June 05, 2009, 11:39:55 AM »
It was an interesting article, but what conclusions do you draw from it?

He makes the point that housing the homeless can be less expensive than not housing. Whether that's the case in this situation, who knows. We don't have enough information.

But I think that the extra information helps flesh out everyone's understanding, and makes for a better discussion.

Maybe we should petition the original news source for more facts?

Offline Harlan

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Re: High end homeless shelter
« Reply #28 on: June 05, 2009, 11:47:26 AM »
The outrage from me, and it seems a few other people on this board, is that the government is dishing out $2700/Month for each apartment.

Read the article again, please! That's not the case!

Quote
The city is paying Bushwick Economic Development Corp. $90 a night for each of the apartments, about $2,700 a month - a figure that also covers social services, housing help and job counseling designed to get families back on their feet.
(emphasis added)

Offline odenhal

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Re: High end homeless shelter
« Reply #29 on: June 05, 2009, 11:56:00 AM »
but isn't 2,700.00 a month more than many astorians take home pay,  for actually working .
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Offline Pinnochio

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Re: High end homeless shelter
« Reply #30 on: June 05, 2009, 12:06:36 PM »
I heard this on 1010WINS yesterday. One of the people staying there that they interviewed was there because of a fire - her building got burnt down - and she had nowhere else to stay.

Offline Harlan

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Re: High end homeless shelter
« Reply #31 on: June 05, 2009, 12:33:56 PM »
but isn't 2,700.00 a month more than many astorians take home pay,  for actually working .

Sure, that's about my take-home pay. But I'm not sure I understand your point. I'm not getting extensive social services from the contractor to turn my life around, and I'm renting an unfurnished apartment with a two-year lease. Apples and oranges, no?

Offline holyfrjole

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Re: High end homeless shelter
« Reply #32 on: June 05, 2009, 12:48:42 PM »
A better solution would have been for the city to turn it into temporary subsidized housing for displaced working families -- the family would pay for part of the rent, the city would subsidize, and the family would have X number of months to find permanent housing. A family with an income generated from working (as opposed to public assistance) should, in my opinion, have priority over this type of housing -- they're taxpayers. The city can offer them short term leases -- 3 months, 6 months -- so they can establish a record as a rent paying tenant and are responsible for the condition of the property when they vacate.

I'd rather see my tax dollars go to help working families who fall on tough times -- it can happen to anyone.


Offline Billz1981

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Re: High end homeless shelter
« Reply #33 on: June 05, 2009, 01:04:24 PM »
We don't. That's why I'm reserving judgment for now. This could be a scandal. Or it could be a good deal for the city. I have no way of knowing, because I don't know anything at all about the city's costs to get the same services elsewhere. All of you who are judging this project without knowledge are playing into the tabloid journalism. Don't you question anything you read?

Or are you just unhappy because poor people get something nice for a change?

Seriously, think about your motivations and why you're outraged. What aspect of the story outrages you?

Casicua stole my thunder by saying most of the things I'm about to say, but here goes anyhow.  I am outraged by the story because of good old fashioned American greed.  But not in the way you're thinking.  I'm not averse to the poor getting something nice for a change, I'm averse to them doing it on our dime.  We are in the midst of a severe economic downturn in this city.  We have been hit harder than the nation as a whole, because of our dependence on taxes from outsized bonuses and salaries from financial firms.

This is a time to hold on to as much of our money as possible, and to use the money we do spend as efficiently and effectively as possible.  We could use the money spent on luxurious digs for a few poor people and instead help even more poor people with basic living conditions.

This reminds me of a few years back when I did a fellowship in government with the city.  We visited a privately run shelter with all sorts of amenities.  A tea room, Japanese rock garden, art lessons, etc.  In Murray Hill, no less.  The director of the shelter told us that they have a 90 something percent retention rate.  People don't move out and become self sufficient, because it's so nice there.  Which means that the residents stay on the dole and keep out other people who might benefit from such a shelter.

Now, granted, this was a private run organization, not a city shelter.  But I remember making a similar argument; that the way they were running their shelter was in violation of donor trust.  Well, someone else in my group shot back with "What?  Are you saying the poor don't deserve art?"  It's not an issue of whether the poor deserve art (or granite countertops as in the case of the luxury homeless shelter.)  But with scant resources, especially these days, it is of greater good to help as many people as possible get on their feet than to provide "enriching" or "nice" experiences.

As to the liberation of Iraq, I don't see how that is analogous.  On one hand, we're talking about a federally funded war which is unpopular and controversial.  On the other, we're talking about a civic program.  I never said whether I was in favor of freeing Iraq, but even if I was, I don't see why I should have to hand in my "I am a taxpayer and I care about my taxes being used efficiently" card.

Offline Billz1981

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Re: High end homeless shelter
« Reply #34 on: June 05, 2009, 01:08:27 PM »


I'd rather see my tax dollars go to help working families who fall on tough times -- it can happen to anyone.



Times like these will only highlight the new order.  We are a nation of tax payers versus tax eaters.  I'd rather see my tax dollars help those who work or are willing to work, too.  We should stress personal responsibility and giving people the help they need to be off on their way.  Those that refuse should only be allowed to suckle off of our collective wealth for so long.  Of course, we can always tax the "rich" to solve our collective social ills, right?  But what happens when they grow frustrated with having to bear the greatest share and move out of the state?

Offline Harlan

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Re: High end homeless shelter
« Reply #35 on: June 05, 2009, 01:10:25 PM »
Bill, you're always very thoughtful...

Casicua stole my thunder by saying most of the things I'm about to say, but here goes anyhow.  I am outraged by the story because of good old fashioned American greed.  But not in the way you're thinking.  I'm not averse to the poor getting something nice for a change, I'm averse to them doing it on our dime.  We are in the midst of a severe economic downturn in this city.  We have been hit harder than the nation as a whole, because of our dependence on taxes from outsized bonuses and salaries from financial firms.

This is a time to hold on to as much of our money as possible, and to use the money we do spend as efficiently and effectively as possible.  We could use the money spent on luxurious digs for a few poor people and instead help even more poor people with basic living conditions.

I fully agree. But I have yet to see any evidence at all that this project is costing the city any more than equivalent services at other locations. It may be. Or the developer may have been so desperate to get any income at all that they agreed to rent the property to the city and the nonprofit for really cheap. We just don't know. Does anyone know how to find out?

Offline enigmacat

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Re: High end homeless shelter
« Reply #36 on: June 05, 2009, 01:39:27 PM »
per this story, at least some New York homeless are charged rent. So that leads to more questions .. are those housed at this shelter charged any rent, if so how much, and is that included in the 2700.


Here's an IBO (Independent Budget Office) report from 2008. An ambition person with a little time on their hands could do some calculations and maybe get some rough idea of how much the city spends on each homeless person for various services per month.

The IBO might also respond to phone calls and emails .. who knows...

[mod: added /url tag in first link.]

« Last Edit: June 05, 2009, 04:42:31 PM by merm »

Offline Billz1981

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Re: High end homeless shelter
« Reply #37 on: June 05, 2009, 01:51:11 PM »
per this story, at least some New York homeless are charged rent. So that leads to more questions .. are those housed at this shelter charged any rent, if so how much, and is that included in the 2700.


Here's an [url=http://www.ibo.nyc.ny.us/newsfax/insidethebudget157.pdf]IBO (Independent Budget Office) report from 2008
. An ambition person with a little time on their hands could do some calculations and maybe get some rough idea of how much the city spends on each homeless person for various services per month.

The IBO might also respond to phone calls and emails .. who knows...



We should all start a blog on NYC policy together.  Because outside of that context, such civic reporting would make us super nerds.  :-D

Offline enigmacat

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Re: High end homeless shelter
« Reply #38 on: June 05, 2009, 02:35:46 PM »
oh, man, i am really missing the edit option right now.

but writing a blog on policy could be fun ... and very nerdy :)


Offline enigmacat

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Re: High end homeless shelter
« Reply #40 on: June 05, 2009, 03:51:54 PM »
you mean charging rent for shelters?  when?

Offline holyfrjole

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Re: High end homeless shelter
« Reply #41 on: June 05, 2009, 04:16:59 PM »
Quote
The Bloomberg administration has stopped charging rent to homeless people who have income and live in city shelters, temporarily suspending a state-mandated program that has been marked by mismanagement and the threat of a lawsuit.

From the NY Times on 5/21/09

Offline enigmacat

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Re: High end homeless shelter
« Reply #42 on: June 05, 2009, 04:36:25 PM »
found it

http://fort-greene.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/05/22/city-rent-rule-suspended/?scp=6&sq=homeless%20rent&st=cse

that's interesting. the article says that the rule was temporarily suspended. but given its lack of popularity i wonder if there's any serious intention to bring it back.

Offline FZ

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Re: High end homeless shelter
« Reply #43 on: August 06, 2009, 02:23:17 PM »
While I'm all for a shelter system to support those who need help, I think this move is pretty tone deaf on the part of DHS officials: http://www.nydailynews.com/real_estate/2009/06/04/2009-06-04_city_turns_upscale_building_into_homeless_shelter.html

What about middle class people who would be glad to rent those units at similar rates?

The middle class always  gets  the screw, IMO, more  when democrats  are in control fo social programs, but, the others aren't much better in the end.

The problem is that we lump every deranged, alcoholic, druggie as 'the homeless', with people  who legitimately are homeless.

In the days  before  our culture was driven insane by the media,courts and academia, anyone who would stretch out in front  of a home, business or sidewalk in their own urine or feces would be sent to the mental  ward. Today, these  folks  have been declared  'homeless'  and allowed  to destroy neighborhoods and woe be unto to anyone  who dares  tell them to go away. They have a 'right' to hang out in front of a  business  all day, drink, even though drinking is 'illegal' on the street for me and you.

In my once relatively quiet, at least for New York City,Astoria neighborhood, the 'do-gooders' from the city in our society, have rented  across the street from my home  to folks  who 'hang around' the neighborhood all day drinking up there or a couple of blocks away at the supermarket. Calls to police and letters from tax payers and homeowners  seem to temporarily  shoo away the problem, but, they return when the heat is  off.

No doubt the majority  are not from this neighborhood or even here legally, but, that doesn't matter on the Federal level, certainly now more than ever, that would be 'racist.'  :wink:   So, what  was once  illegal is now legal and the tax payers, homeowners and business  have to once again lock up and watch out. A sentiment  from a local  storeowner  caught my attention yesterday as we talked this over, he said the only way  to get rid of them is shoot them.  I'm sure he was 'joking', but, it is getting frustrating and dangerous.  This is a peaceful  man who I have seen for years, but, even he is fed up. Naturally, shooting them is  not an option, it's  'illegal', maybe, if it gets real bad  again, we'll get another Guliani. But, as it stands, once again, the mice are at play, you gotta keep an eye out, after all, you wouldn't want to be 'mean'  and 'racist', just another sap paying for bums to make  someone  feel better who is either  in the Bahamas, gated  community or some high rise, who made a law siding with street people.   


 

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