NEW YORK, NY (TIP): New York City Comptroller John C. Liu has rejected contracts by the Department of Homeless Services (DHS) engaging Aguila Inc. to operate shelters in the South Bronx and West 95th Street in Manhattan, citing problems with the City’s Fair Share analysis concerning the siting of shelters by neighborhood. Liu said the DHS needs to clarify both the number of individuals who will be provided services and the length of those services. Given material inconsistencies, there was no choice but to reject, he said. “Transparency is paramount when siting homeless shelters, and these contracts failed the test on many counts.
Contracts need to be clear and specific, to ensure that the DHS requires the vendor to stay within the parameters of the program,” Comptroller Liu said. “Overall, the Administration’s homeless policies have failed both the homeless and communities asked to accept shelters, and it would be unconscionable to compound past errors with these faulty contracts.” The contracts are in the amount of $46.8 million for 316-330 West 95th Street and $20.8 million for 1625-1631 Fulton Avenue in The Bronx.
For the Upper West Side location, the Fair Share analysis indicates the shelter has 200 units which can accommodate up to 400 adults – which raises the question of whether DHS can comply with local laws governing total occupancy. Further, the Comptroller’s office is seeking additional documentation regarding inspections and correct certificates of occupancy. For the South Bronx location, there were also apparent discrepancies in the Fair Share analysis, again making it unclear whether the contract complies with local law.